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Company blames cyclist after aggressive driver complaint

Cyclist complains to GSH Upholstery of aggressive driving, the company director tells him "you're the problem"...

A company director has responded to a complaint of aggressive driving by one of its employees by blaming the cyclist who made the complaint.

The Nottingham Post reports Michael Perry complained to local firm, GSH Upholstery, after he says one of its drivers regularly passed him while beeping his horn and “making angry signs”.

The company appears to have taken down its website and Facebook page shortly after cyclists began leaving reviews which linked to the Nottingham Post article.

West Midlands Police to use cycling officer to target close-passing motorists

Perry, 35, told the Post he is regularly overtaken by the driver on his way to work on the A6002 in Nuthall. "It must have been about three or four months with the driver beeping angrily and making angry signs as he drives past. I just thought 'this is not right'."

Mr Perry wrote to the company on September 15, stating: "A few times now about 7am on Low Wood road. The driver of your small blue van I think it's a Ford. They have been aggressively beeping their horn as they overtake my bike.

"It's like they are trying to knock me off. It's getting stupid - if I fall and have an accident who knows what will happen. I am getting a go pro camera to put on my bike so if this carries on I will take the video to the police."

Mr Perry received a response from one of the company directors, James Hartley, which reads: "I have spoken to the driver in question and reviewed the video footage from the van. I would like to point out that the council spends MILLIONS of pounds across the country painting white lines creating cycle tracks for YOURS AND OTHERS SAFTEY, WHY NOT USE THEM?

"Secondly if you're cycling at least 1 yard off the curb side on a road with central refuges, passing cars, vans and lorries cannot get past, HENCE THE CYCLE TRACK??. So please do not email me trying to get one of my employees disciplined for YOUR stupidity.

"May I suggest a cycling course on road use for YOUR safety and other drivers, as if you were to be knocked off your bike while you were on the road by a passing vehicle with a cycle track road side, I would feel for the driver as you were not adhering to the RULES of the HIGHWAY CODE."

However, Hartley appears to have misunderstood the rules of the Highway Code, which state a cyclist does not have to use a cycle lane (Rule 61 & 63), and that drivers must give cyclists at least as much room as a car when overtaking (Rule 163). In many cases when overtaking by a central refuge, the latter would not be possible. Cyclists are advised, for their own safety, not to ride less than 50m from a kerb as this encourages drivers to "buzz past with inches to spare", makes them harder to see and they more liable to encounter debris swept aside by motor traffic.

The Post also points out there is no cycle lane on that particular road.

GSH Upholstery did not respond to email request for comment by, while a phone number on an online directory went to a private residence which hadn’t heard of James Hartley.

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