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Near Miss of the Day 297: Bus driver cuts in on cyclist because he wasn’t on the (crap) bike path

Our regular series featuring near misses from the UK and beyond – today it's Lancashire...

Today’s near miss sees a cyclist suffer a close pass by a bus driver, who then cut in on him. The driver’s explanation when challenged about this was that there was a cycle path – a line of reasoning which apparently made sense to him in some mysterious way.

The incident took place on Garstang Road in Broughton heading towards Preston on Sunday August 4. Phil says that the road used to be the main A6, but that it has been superseded by a bypass.

“As I passed the entrance to the Marriot hotel, a double decker bus passed me – the super wide angle of the GoPro doesn’t do justice to how close he was.

“As he began to close pass me, he angled the bus and pulled back in sharply so that the front wheels were approximately 12 inches from the kerb. My handlebars were too close to the bus for comfort. As he passed, he braked sharply.

“My bit of road was rapidly disappearing in front of me, I slammed on, locked the back wheel up and managed to avoid being crushed between the bus and the kerb.

“I caught him up at the next set of lights and asked him why he had close passed me in such a way. He opened the bus door and said: ‘No, no, there’s a cycle path, use the cycle path.’

“He then shut the doors. I shouted to him that I did not have to use the cycle path and I was legally entitled to use the road but he kept saying to use the cycle path.”

This is entirely correct and even if it weren’t, where someone should be has no bearing on where they actually are.

There’s also the matter of the cycle path itself.

“It seems to have been created by a non-cyclist,” says Phil. “The new tarmac is really rough, there are bits of loose tarmac and stones strewn across it, and they have thoughtfully placed narrow but really silly speed bumps along it. They are similar to kerbstones sunk into the road, but stuck out enough that you really hit them, rather than ride over them.

“I have ridden on it, but prefer to ride on the road, as, due to the bypass, it’s almost deserted.”

Phil contacted Stagecoach about the incident, “who didn’t appear too bothered.”

He also reported it to the police and went down to the police station to show them the footage.

“The officer agreed with me that the driver’s actions were deliberate, and said she would show the footage to her sergeant.

“A day later she emailed me to inform me that the sergeant had viewed the footage and decided that, although he close passed me, he was of the opinion that the driver was braking for the speed hump. No mention was made of the action of pulling in sharply.

“The result? No further action. I received a helpful letter from Stagecoach one week later which informed me that the driver had been ’spoken to’.

“What is the point in investing in expensive cameras and providing the footage if Lancashire police are not interested? This is not the first time I have submitted footage which they didn’t act on.”

> What to do next if you’ve been involved in a road traffic collision

> Near Miss of the Day turns 100 - Why do we do the feature and what have we learnt from it?

Over the years road.cc has reported on literally hundreds of close passes and near misses involving badly driven vehicles from every corner of the country – so many, in fact, that we’ve decided to turn the phenomenon into a regular feature on the site. One day hopefully we will run out of close passes and near misses to report on, but until that happy day arrives, Near Miss of the Day will keep rolling on.

If you’ve caught on camera a close encounter of the uncomfortable kind with another road user that you’d like to share with the wider cycling community please send it to us at info [at] road.cc or send us a message via the road.cc Facebook page.

If the video is on YouTube, please send us a link, if not we can add any footage you supply to our YouTube channel as an unlisted video (so it won't show up on searches).

Please also let us know whether you contacted the police and if so what their reaction was, as well as the reaction of the vehicle operator if it was a bus, lorry or van with company markings etc.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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11 comments

Avatar
ktache | 4 years ago
0 likes

Thanks Phil.

Avatar
Rik Mayals unde... | 4 years ago
4 likes

The most ironic part of this incident was when I nearly became squashed between the bus and the kerb, in my face was a large yellow sign on the rear of the bus, warning cyclists to pass with care! It's a pity that Stagecoach do not teach their drivers the same! 

Anyway, if anyone has a run in with a Stagecoach bus, here is the CEO's email so you can vent your fury at him.

martin.griffiths [at] stagecoachgroup.com

Avatar
cycle.london | 4 years ago
0 likes

I've noticed bus drivers are getting worse of late.  The overtake and pull in gig used to be occasional, but now it's systematic.  To the extent that now, if I hear a bus behind me and I can see a bus stop ahead, I'll pull out and take the lane, to block him.  Needless to say, this doesn't go down well.

Marginalisation of cyclists is getting worse.  I don't know if it's thanks to things like that Channel 5 hatchet job, or whether it's a symptom of a less pleasant society, but 'get out of my way' is becoming the standard response on the rare occasions when I remonstrate with a driver.  

In this one, a taxi driver in London sounded his horn at another cyclist who had pulled out to pass me.  I politely asked him why he had done so, and the gist of his response (I've cut the sound) was that cyclists should be in the fucking cycle lane.  You can see him near to the end of the clip, pointing at the cycle lane which is just ahead of us.

https://youtu.be/lsEIRm6VlQw

This one is more recent, and had a driver sounding his horn at me as I passed a pinch point.  When I caught up with him, he told me that I was legally obliged to get out of the way of drivers.

https://youtu.be/JoPXxgwAi_I

Avatar
srchar replied to cycle.london | 4 years ago
1 like
cycle.london wrote:

I've noticed bus drivers are getting even worse of late.

FTFY.

I am actually with you though. TfL seem to only employ muderous psycopaths to drive buses now. They've gone from being the best-driven vehicles on the road to some of the worst.

Avatar
kil0ran | 4 years ago
7 likes

Emergency engine cutout switch, it's the only way to be sure

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cycle.london replied to kil0ran | 4 years ago
0 likes
kil0ran wrote:

Emergency engine cutout switch, it's the only way to be sure

Tell me more.

Avatar
Hirsute | 4 years ago
2 likes

Driver was looking 2 foot ahead and unable to spot the speed bump. Or his vision is such it is below what is required. Or he had to slow down anyway, so why pull such a stunt?

Avatar
Rik Mayals unde... replied to Hirsute | 4 years ago
1 like
hirsute wrote:

Driver was looking 2 foot ahead and unable to spot the speed bump. Or his vision is such it is below what is required. Or he had to slow down anyway, so why pull such a stunt?

Because he was a twat who was angry that I chose to use the road instead of the shit cycle path and decided to teach me a lesson. I would guess that the route is his usual one, so he would know where the speed bump is. And he had no need to pull in sharply as the road ahead was clear.

Avatar
grumpyoldcyclist | 4 years ago
2 likes

Ha, they sound just like Cheshire Police. They use the excuse that my helmet camera footage doesn't show my bike handlebars so they can't work out how close the driver is to me.......... go figure that one out

Avatar
StuInNorway | 4 years ago
4 likes

Time to submit a formal complaint that even when they agree his actions were deliberate and endangered another road user no action was taken, not even a phonecall to make the point it was unacceptable and that any repeats would be dealt with more severely.

Avatar
Rik Mayals unde... replied to StuInNorway | 4 years ago
0 likes
StuInNorway wrote:

Time to submit a formal complaint that even when they agree his actions were deliberate and endangered another road user no action was taken, not even a phonecall to make the point it was unacceptable and that any repeats would be dealt with more severely.

No point at all. The last time I reported a driver, who I captured in full HD texting whilst driving, who even admitted to doing it before telling me to fuck off and carrying on texting, they weren't interested. The officer told me it was 'not in the public interest' to prosecute, and she was far too busy dealing with a long list of other incidents to be bothered with it. I complained to the professional standards department at Lancashire police. They didn't even have the decency to reply. I used to have a hell of a lot of respect for the police, so much so that I used to give up my spare time as a community support volunteer. I have lost all respect for the police, and would never again give up my spare time to help them. I know that the numbers have been slashed and they are short staffed, but they arn't bothered in upholding the Law when it concerns a pesky cyclist. Had the outcome of this bus incident been different, whereby I sustained life changing injuries or was killed, I would just be 'another cyclist killed', and the bus driver would have had his knuckles rapped and told to be a good boy in future. This driver knew full well what he was doing, he made it clear in the subsequent conversation. To use a 12 ton bus with passengers on, as a weapon to intimidate a vulnerable road user is just not on, and very easily could have catastrohpic consequences. And the police don't give a fuck. Every time recently I have reported an incident, I have had to make a 20 mile round trip to the nearest one available as all the local ones are closed, and waste over an hour of my time when there is no positive response. If someone calls someone a hurtful name on social media though, the police are all over it like a rash, or they spend millions of pounds they don't have investigating a crime from decades ago, where the potential suspect is dead. 

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