A cycling family who suffered a close pass by a bus say they were told by Northamptonshire Police that there was not enough evidence of careless driving to support a prosecution, and that cycling wasn't a priority.
Alexander Dutton and his wife were riding a tandem with their two-year-old daughter on a trailer when they were forced off the road last September.
Writing on YouTube, Dutton said: “A Stagecoach bus driver attempted to overtake on a blind left-hand bend, when a car came the other way. The bus driver pulled left and braked, forcing us off the road and almost into the back of a car parked off the carriageway. The bus driver then drove off without stopping, despite me giving chase on foot and shouting for him to stop.”
He added: “Northamptonshire Police have told us that there isn't enough evidence of careless driving to support a prosecution, and that cycling isn't a priority for them.”
Cycling UK’s Senior Road Safety and Legal Campaigner Duncan Dollimore said that three days before the expiration of the six month timeframe for bringing a prosecution for careless driving, Dutton and his wife received a letter from Northamptonshire Police indicating that they did not intend to prosecute the coach driver.
“That letter states that in making their decision the police considered not only whether an offence had occurred, but also whether a prosecution was necessary, with the explanation that ‘due to the nature of the injuries’ the driver would be offered a place on a driver re-training course if they decided to prosecute.
“As he had already attended a similar course in the interim, arranged through his employer, the police seem to have decided that was enough, that all’s well that ends well, and applied the ‘nobody died’ test in deciding not to prosecute.
“It simply beggars belief that nobody at Northamptonshire Police realised that the offence of careless driving concerns the standard of driving, and the fact that nobody was injured does not excuse bad driving, particularly by a professional driver.
“If they don’t think anyone was affected by this incident perhaps they should listen again to the audio of the incident, and the terrified screams form the back of the tandem.”
A spokeswoman for Stagecoach said: "Safety is our absolute priority and we were concerned to hear about this incident. We have liaised directly with the family involved since the incident occurred. Our local team investigated the circumstances and the driver involved was dealt with through our internal disciplinary procedure."
Northamptonshire Police have been contacted for comment.