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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.