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Fresh police warning to Bristol bus company after another close pass caught on camera by cyclist

Footage emerges of second of two incidents earlier this month that happened within 90 minutes of each other

Police have issued a fresh warning to Bristol’s main bus operator after a second video emerged of one of its drivers making a close pass on a cyclist earlier this month.

The incident happened just 90 minutes after one on October that had already resulted in a warning to FirstBus from Avon & Somerset Constabulary, reports the Bristol Post.

The new footage, involving A double decker number 73 bus, was shot at about 4pm on Thursday 4 October by cyclist James Taylor on the dual carriageway A38 at Patchway.

He told the newspaper: "In over 18,000 miles of cycling around Bristol and South Gloucestershire this was the closest I'd come to being sideswiped by a close-passing bus.

"The experience was scary as it forced me off the main carriageway (which I needed to use) onto a side turning.

"The outside lane was clear and there was no reason for the bus driver not to go out around me like every other driver did, safely, that day.

"As the bus passed me I could tell it was close from the side-draft.

“Despite having been in the right place on the road I was barged out of the way and it would have put a less experienced cyclist off altogether.”

He added: "Ironically I was heading to hospital - glad I could complete the journey by bike and not in an ambulance."

The rider sent the footage to police, who sent a warning to the bus operator and told Mr Taylor in an email:  "On viewing the footage I agree that the standard of driving falls below the required standard and I shall be sending an advisory letter to the registered keeper of the vehicle.

"I shall not be seeking to prosecute the driver of the vehicle however the transport manager and driver will be made aware of their responsibilities to other road users and that as professional drivers the standards they are held by are obviously higher than for normal road users."

A FirstBus spokesman told the Bristol Post: “We have been made aware of the incident, and have spoken to the driver about the importance of keeping a safe distance when overtaking cyclists.

"During training our drivers are instructed only to overtake cyclists when it is safe to do so and to keep a safe distance.

“We train our drivers to be ‘cyclist aware’, which is very important in Bristol and the wider region as so many people are keen cyclists, and First is proud of its safety record in the West of England,” he added.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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7 comments

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ktache | 5910 posts | 4 years ago
0 likes

No mention of cycle lanes in the company's bullshit this time.

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maviczap | 438 posts | 4 years ago
4 likes

I think as part of their driver training the new drivers should be forced to sit on a bike and have a bus do a close pass by them, that'd get the message home

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Tommytrucker | 160 posts | 4 years ago
4 likes

And then pulls into the bus stop 100m further on....

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StuInNorway | 417 posts | 4 years ago
5 likes

How many "final warnings" are they going to get ?

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burtthebike | 3438 posts | 4 years ago
6 likes

That is actually in South Gloucestershire, and one of the locations I pointed out to the leader of SGlos council when I took him on a bike ride two years ago.  There is a substandard cycle lane which disappears at that spot, so ripe for incidents like this.

It was only a three mile ride, up one side of the A38 and back down the other, but I was able to show him a dozen places where the council had failed to follow its own policies, sometimes putting cyclists at considerable risk.  He nodded his head a lot and said that he would be taking it back to officers and getting back to me, so after only a couple of reminders to him, I got the news I was expecting; nothing could be done.

The Bristol Aerospace museum opened recently in the area, so at least they put in a cycle path and footpath along Hayes Way, constructed during their participation in Cycling City, but when I visited the museum, I had to ask where the cycle parking was, as I couldn't see it from the entrance.  It is literally as far away as possible from the entrance in a corner of the car park, and they are refusing to move it, and the council don't seem to want to answer any more questions from me on the matter of cycle parking after my last email gave a list of about twenty places in my local area where they'd got it wrong.

There are rumours that the sole purpose of the SGlos transport department is to make Bristol's look good.

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Jem PT | 400 posts | 4 years ago
5 likes

Agree. The Police will not be taken seriously if they do not folow threats of action with action. 

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HarrogateSpa | 1499 posts | 4 years ago
6 likes

Rubbish cycle infrastructure + terrible driving = danger that puts most people off cycling. It was a restrained reaction from the person riding/filming.

Didn't the police statement last time say that there would be one warning, then action next time? It seems their words and actions don't match, and there are in fact unlimited warnings.

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