A man has been fined after a cyclist riding on a busy cycleway in London was knocked off his bike by a Tesco delivery driver who turned left across his path but later denied he had been driving the vehicle.
The dramatic incident was filmed in May and has now been uploaded to YouTube by road.cc reader Chris.
It happened on Cycleway 8 – one of the original ‘lick of blue paint’ Cycle Superhighways that afford nothing in the way of physical protection – on Millbank, just after the junction with Vauxhall Bridge Road.
The driver could not have been unaware that there were cyclists to his left, with the start of the video showing around a dozen of them positioned in the advanced stop line area ahead of him as they waited for the traffic lights to change to cross Vauxhall Bridge Road.
Nevertheless, after the lights change, the driver passed Chris then turned left into a small cul-de-sac, knocking the front rider from his bike and, as this still image shows, the cyclist was very close to having his leg crushed by the vehicle’s nearside front wheel.
Chris told us that the cyclist was able to ride away from the scene, and that the case has only just gone to court – although incredibly, the driver refused to admit that he was driving the vehicle at the time.
“This meant the police could not charge him for driving-related charges as he could not officially be identified - despite the video evidence,” Chris said.
“Instead he was prosecuted for ‘failing to nominate driver. He was given a £300 fine, plus £332 in costs and six points.
“Despite the employee refusing to take responsibility for the crash, Tesco admitted liability in the insurance claim.”
Chris added that in a later part of the footage he captured, not shown in this edit (which has been uploaded and shared with the cyclist’s permission, “the employee states the cyclist had been in his ‘blind spot’.”
In October 2015, cyclist Julie Dinsdale lost her right leg when she was crushed by a left-turning Tesco lorry as she rode along London’s Old Street with her partner, mountain bike pioneer Keith Bontrager.
The following August, the driver, Florian Oprea, was fined £625 and had his driving licence endorsed with five penalty points after pleading guilty to driving without due care and attention.
Dinsdale said afterwards that she was “hugely disappointed by the decision of the Court which finds that despite the evidence that I was visible to the driver, he should not be handed a more substantial sentence given the impact his actions have had on my life.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.