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Driver of Royal Mail van tells cyclist: “If I was messed up in the head you would’ve died” (+ video)

Company says it is investigating incident which happened in west London yesterday evening

Please note that on 28/6/2023, at the Metropolitan Police's request, all photos and video identifying the driver was removed as the police are now proceeding with prosecution.

A cyclist in west London has posted footage to Twitter of the moment the driver of a Royal Mail van who was heading towards him while on the wrong side of the road in what appears to be an attempt to bypass queueing traffic told him, “If I was messed up in the head you would’ve died.” Royal Mail have confirmed to that they are investigating the incident.

The incident happened in the London Borough of Ealing yesterday evening, with the cyclist, Roly West, telling “I was commuting home at around 6pm, making my way along Northfield Avenue from Uxbridge Road, a junction in Ealing notorious for congestion and the site of the killing of cyclist Claudia Manera,” a former Metropolitan Police officer who was killed in a crash involving a lorry in October 2017.

“The Royal Mail driver pulled out of the queue into the opposite lane and into my path, passing about 10 waiting cars at speed.

“I noticed him, and judging that there was no space for us to safely pass one another, I stopped early to allow him slow and to pull back into the queue. He said ‘Not gonna lie mate, if I was messed up in the head you would’ve died. I’m clearly going round to get round to a corner, you could’ve just moved out the fucking way”.

“The driver had pulled out about 170 metres away from the right turn, and didn’t have indicators on. Speechless at his driving and what he said, I asked him if he worked for Royal Mail as the van suggested, but he claimed he didn’t. I asked him who he worked for, but he didn’t answer.”

While the employment status of the driver in this specific instance is not currently known, Royal Mail does at times have contractors driving its vehicles who are employed externally.

A Royal Mail spokesperson told “We are aware of the incident and an internal investigation is ongoing.”  

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the size of its vehicle fleet – 41,500 vans and 6,200 trucks and trailers, according to its website – Royal Mail drivers putting vulnerable road users in danger have featured in our Near Miss of the Day series, such as this incident from 2021 in which a pedestrian and a cyclist both had a close call.

Providing background information about the area where the incident took place, Roly said: “This road has historically been congested. During Covid lockdown in 2020 Ealing Council installed modal filters to create low traffic neighbourhoods in surrounding streets.

> Council's free bike initiative praised ... but “huge issue” of safe cycling routes must be addressed too, campaign argues

“Now silent anti-LTN campaign group One Ealing claimed that the filters created congestion exactly like that seen in the video. Following a coup in the Labour leadership, the nearest area of filters that could reduce congestion along this stretch was removed during the school run after just nine months, without any kind of public consultation.

“With these and other modal filters gone, walking and cycling are more dangerous in Ealing, and the congestion is as bad as ever.

> Local knowledge – how good (or bad) is your nearby provision for cycling?

“Companies like Royal Mail put undue pressure on their staff to meet deadlines and targets, which translates into drivers like this putting other road users in very real danger,” Roly continued.

“Local groups like Better Ealing Streets and Ealing Cycle Campaign are raising awareness about road danger in Ealing, and campaigning to get safer streets for people not in motor vehicles,” he added.

Simon joined 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.

Add new comment


griggers | 1 year ago

The sooner Royal Mail replace all vans with e-cargo bikes the better - and better still they could replace them with e-cargo trikes!

Then they can dodge traffic like cyclists do!

Grumpy17 | 1 year ago

There will be no action taken by Royal Mail other than 'giving advice' to the driver.nobody was hurt in the making of this video so why should they care?

Police should be involved if the cyclist wants any action against the driver.

Appears to be a clear case of careless or inconsiderate driving.

sullyvsn | 1 year ago

And what would he have done if he came up against a vehicle instead of a bike rider?  Plow head on into a crash??

bensynnock | 1 year ago

This sort of attitude is very common. Although I've been pleasantly surprised with the number of motorists who will overtake fully on the opposite side of the road there are still a large number of motorists who will attempt to drive head-on into a cyclist they should be giving way to because they can intimidate us into pulling aside to allow them passage.

No. Drivers. If you should be giving way to me in my car then you should be giving way to me on my bike. I will take up the same amount of space. I will not give way when you should give way to me.

open_roads | 1 year ago

Ironically the Royal Mail driver is dodging a queue of traffic on Northfield Avenue that the anti-LTN protesters told everyone was only there because of the LTN.

Predictably, the safe route enabled by the LTN was removed and the traffic jam is still there all day every day - with the former LTN roads blatantly used for rat running by drivers who ignore the speed limit and do so whilst playing on their phones.

The stretch of road is pretty dangerous for cyclists - about 20m back from the start of the video is a ghost bike where a former policewoman was crushed to death whilst she waited at the junction on her bike. The council have been promising safety improvements for years but haven't done anything to date.




eburtthebike | 1 year ago

"If I was messed up in the head...."

Strange thing to say when he clearly is.

ubercurmudgeon replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago
eburtthebike wrote:

"If I was messed up in the head...."

Strange thing to say when he clearly is.

Are we absolutely sure this guy isn't actually a psychology lecturer, teaching an advanced class to a small group of students hidden in the back of the van, about the difference between psychopathy and sociopathy?

wtjs | 1 year ago

Royal Mail is pretty bad- one of the videos I have shown on here is of a large high RM van close passing me right across double white lines on an old river bridge just before a blind R bend. They said they couldn't investigate unless they had my full postal address as well as my email address. They were clearly making that rule up, so there was no point in continuing - it was obviously going to turn into a fob - off "we're taking this seriously but we're not going to tell you what we did" where they do nothing at all. Naturally, they're encouraged in that policy by the knowledge that Lancashire Constabulary ignore all such offences

hawkinspeter replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
wtjs wrote:

Royal Mail is pretty bad...

They certainly are. I still can't believe that no exec has been imprisoned for the Horizon scandal where they accused their own postmasters of fraud and sent many of them to prison based on false evidence. Of course, some of the falsely accused had their lives ruined (including some suicides) and yet it still hasn't been resolved.

Brauchsel replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago

Horizon was an appalling scandal, and execs should be in jail. Wasn't it the Post Office though, rather than the (now) separate Royal Mail?

grOg replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago

What was strange about the Horizon issue was that only sub-postmasters, ie self employed agents for the post office, not employees, were involved.

lio | 1 year ago

It's been said before but it bears repeating, it should be made a criminal offence not to know who's incharge of a motor vehicle at any given time.

Either it's parked, you know who's driving or it's stolen.

Companies like Royal Mail shouldn't be able to hide behind "not knowing who the driver was".

grOg replied to lio | 1 year ago

Of course RM knows who's driving a vehicle at a given time; there is not any statement by RM to the contrary in the article; this statement 'while the employment status of the driver in this specific instance is not currently known' is made by Simon MacMichael, not RM..

Cycloid | 1 year ago

Clearly an aggressive driver.
Low intelligence - doing it in a company vehicle.
The two traits often go together, but still a bad combination

Brauchsel | 1 year ago

"I'm clearly driving on the wrong side of the road because I'm a dangerous antisocial prick who can't be arsed waiting with the rest of the motor traffic, you could've just moved out of my fucking way because my time's more important than anyone else's safety".

Fuck that guy, I hope he gets sacked and banned. I've had shitty low-paid stressful jobs, it's not an excuse for being a cunt. 

Flintshire Boy replied to Brauchsel | 1 year ago


So what's your excuse now?


Brauchsel replied to Flintshire Boy | 1 year ago

Osmosis from too much time on the internet with the likes of you. 

mark1a | 1 year ago

Never ceases to amaze me the number of people operating fully liveried vehicles with their owner's branding and contact details on who do stuff like this. 

andystow | 1 year ago

Amazed (not really) by all the Twitter comments saying to take the post down so the driver doesn't lose his job.

That's the point. He SHOULD lose his job.

Owd Big 'Ead | 1 year ago

The continued race to the bottom, where filling actual staff with agency workers is deemed the right thing to do.

Can't remember how much Royal Mail lost last year, but if they are employing fuckwits like him, there might be a direct correlation.

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