Police in south west London are investigating an incident in which a motorist is alleged to have deliberately tried to knock cyclists off their bikes, causing two to fall off, with occupants of the BMW he was driving then becoming involved in an altercation with riders.
The incident happened at around 4.30pm yesterday near Richmond Park in Priory Lane, Roehampton.
Martin Conway, who was riding away from Richmond Park yesterday, told the London Evening Standard that the driver swerved into his path on purpose and repeated the manoeuvre on other riders as he passed them.
“I heard a car come close behind me, a black car swerved into my path and I wobbled but I didn’t lose my balance,” said the 41-year-old, who works as a personal trainer.
“The car tried again with the cyclist in front, again, he wobbled, steadied himself and didn’t fall."
“At that point the driver then mounted the pavement. Two cyclists came off their bikes and another swerved into a fence."
When the car stopped at a traffic light, the driver then became verbally abusive, according to Mr Conway.
“The driver told me he was going to f*ck me up,” he explained. “After being threatened I called 999. At this point the driver got out of the car.
“He then pushed me to the ground and threw my phone on the floor, stamping on it until he smashed it.”
He said that he felt “lucky” nothing more serious had happened and that “this road rage incident could have turned much more nasty.
“I’m a regular cyclist and you see this kind of thing on YouTube a lot but it’s left me completely shaken and whenever a car comes up behind me now I get nervous,” he added.
The motorist is said to have grabbed the neck of another cyclist, 19-year-old Tom Keech, who was taking photographs on his smartphone.
“He saw me with my phone so I ran but then I got pushed up against a phone box,” said Mr Keech, who added that the incident left him “in a state of shock.”
He managed to hold on to his phone and the motorist then drove off with his passengers.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police told the Standard: “We attended the scene where it is alleged that two males who had been in a vehicle became involved in a dispute with a male cyclist.
“A phone belonging to the cyclist was thrown to the ground and smashed.
“Officers from Wandsworth are investigating, at this stage there have been no arrests.”
Priory Lane was the scene last year of an episode captured on a helmet camera and posted to YouTube in which coffee shop owner Jason Wells, who was driving a 4x4 launched a foul-mouthed tirade at a bike rider after clipping him with his vehicle's wing mirror.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.