A Hove cyclist who suffered a close pass by a school bus was told that the driver thought she would have moved over – despite the fact that the space to her left was a parking bay. Seemingly unaware of this, the school’s transport manager also sent British Cycling advice on road positioning.
The incident occurred on Monday October 7 on New Church Road in Hove.
The driver of a St Christopher’s School bus chose to overtake when there was a traffic island ahead. The cyclist, who wishes to remain anonymous, told road.cc that the front of the bus passed less than a metre from her handlebars with the rear passing far closer.
Having previously been hospitalised following an attempted overtake by a motorist, the cyclist sent a video of the incident to the school.
In response, she was told by a transport manager that the driver believed they had taken “a wide stance,” but agreed after watching the footage that the rear had come close, for which they apologised.
The response then stated: “The driver who is an avid cyclists did also say that they thought that you would have moved over and adopted the secondary position as it was clear to do so, they kindly attached the British Cycling training, ‘On-Road Positioning’ for you to peruse over.”
The information attached was Bitesize Bikeability: Part 4: On-Road Positioning, which explains ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ road positions.
The transport manager concluded: “That being said the driver was wrong in assuming that all cyclists are aware of this and will be extra vigilant in the future.”
Quite apart from the British Cycling material advising cyclists that the primary road position is where they are often safer, the cyclist points out that she wasn’t even riding in a primary position as the road space to her left was actually a series of parking bays.
“I'm really disappointed at the response from the school. I would have been happy if the transport manager had apologised and given me their assurances that the driver had been reminded that she should give cyclists 1.5m while overtaking.
“Instead I get a lecture on how I should have been further left and how it was essentially my fault that the driver close passed me because they didn't expect me to travel in a straight line.”
Disappointed in the response, the cyclist has since sent the footage to Sussex Police’s Operation Crackdown.