Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Near Miss of the Day 881: Bus driver's pointless overtake before "one of the most bizarre conversations" this cyclist has ever had

The cyclist involved was left to wonder "what other instances of bad driving around cyclists this driver has had"...

We have a new contender for the most pointless 'must get in front' (MGIF) overtake ever seen on British roads, a Near Miss of the Day staple that has left many a cyclist wondering why their fellow road user could not have just waited a couple of seconds...

Today's comes from road.cc reader Mitsky and involved a London bus driver overtaking before immediately pulling into a bus stop, forcing the rider to a stop. What followed as they rounded the vehicle and asked the driver "what the point was" turned out to be "one of the most bizarre conversations I've ever had".

"I was cycling southbound on London Road, Croydon, approaching a bus stop," they recalled. "Just before I got to the bus stop the driver of a bus overtook me and came to a halt. I wasn't bothered by the overtake itself, but it was unnecessary to do so in that situation. I came up to the driver's window to ask what the point was and if they couldn't just wait behind.

"What followed was one of the most bizarre conversations I've ever had where the driver seemed to think that cyclists approaching a bus stop have to stop and look around to see if it is safe to proceed.

"We all know this isn't the case and might wonder where the driver was taught that.
If anything this clearly indicates the driver needs retraining at a minimum, if not revocation of her licence, due to the completely wrong understanding of road rules along with her attitude. I can only wonder what other instances of bad driving around cyclists this driver has had."

The footage was reported to Transport for London with an investigation ongoing, while the Metropolitan Police, who also received a copy of the video, said the driver had been offered "an educational course or Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty".

> "I've got a cyclist here!": Bus driver who tailgated cyclist tries calling the police for "getting on his nerves"

Back in February, Transport for London launched an investigation after an "unacceptable" close passing bus driver squeezed a cyclist into the kerb in a similar incident to this one.

At the time, TfL's head of bus operations, Rosie Trew, said "driving that endangers cyclists or pedestrians is unacceptable and far from the required standard of our bus drivers".

Near Miss of the Day 851 - Bus driver squeezes cyclist into kerb (Lauren O'Brien)

TfL added that all London bus drivers are currently undertaking a Vision Zero training course, which aims to teach them new skills in hazard perception and to provide them with a better understanding of the risks to cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and passengers, along with ways to prevent driver fatigue.

TfL says the course is "designed to create the safety culture and attitudes" that will help the body achieve Vision Zero for London.

The cyclist involved spoke out about "bullyish" bus driving on London's roads, saying that drivers often give cyclists no choice but to brake to avoid a collision.

"What [bus drivers] do is get to a certain point where they're sort of halfway past you, then they start indicating, and at that point, you have to make the decision," Lauren O'Brien said. "I don't want to get squished by a bus, so I'm going to have to make a quick decision to brake, get out the way of the bus before I have a collision.

"It just winds you up so much because it's bullyish behaviour, you have no option but to brake or you're gonna get hit by a bus, so they're putting you in this horrible, impossible situation where you've got to just get out their way – which shouldn't be the case at all."

> 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.

> What to do if you capture a near miss or close pass (or worse) on camera while cycling

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

Add new comment

31 comments

Avatar
Steve K | 5 months ago
1 like

I am sure the standard of driving by London Bus drivers is getting worse.  As is their parking.  https://twitter.com/Clockwisesss/status/1718964125315797402 

Avatar
mitsky | 5 months ago
6 likes

I just realised, based on the driver's own words, that I should have said 
"What about the written words on the road: "BUS STOP". This must mean that the bus stops here; But there are no "BUS GO" markings/wordings. So you can't go anywhere now..."

Avatar
Runtilyoudrop | 5 months ago
3 likes

Just pull their emergency engine cut out. Found above the driver side rear wheel about shoulder height. It immobilises the bus and they have a lot of explaining to do. The reaction of the driver is one of someone who knows they have done wrong but is unwilling to acknowledge IMO. stopping them gives them time to think and explain why to their managers why someone would do such a thing.

Avatar
mitsky | 5 months ago
10 likes

This is my incident.

I would not class this as a near miss (of the day), more a pointless MGIF.

Full video, including bizarre conversation with driver, can be seen here : https://youtu.be/SF4u42-lx84

 

TfL update on the 27th of October:

"I assure you that your experience was taken very seriously and dealt with. Arriva have confirmed that the driver was seen, the incident discussed and appropriate action taken.

Please be aware that this is the only information Arriva is able to disclose, in line with employment law whereby their disciplinary procedures are confidential."

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to mitsky | 5 months ago
8 likes

mitsky wrote:

Please be aware that this is the only information Arriva is able to disclose, in line with employment law whereby their disciplinary procedures are confidential."

That's the same cut-and-paste response I always receive from TfL/Arriva and it's cobblers, quite frankly. Whilst there may be confidentiality reasons to keep the offending driver anonymous there is no legal reason of which I am aware that they could not communicate to a complainant the outcome of the disciplinary procedure. The obvious conclusion is that the most their disciplinary procedures ever amount to is a quiet word along the lines of, "Harry, some bloody cyclist has been complaining about your driving mate, we know they're all tossers but be a bit more careful, will you?"

Avatar
mitsky replied to Rendel Harris | 5 months ago
4 likes

Yeah, I would tend to agree that the privacy thing should only apply to revealing who the driver is, not the outcome of any procedure.

Though I would hope that the driver at least having to sit in the manager's office will be enough to make them think twice in future and the manager themselves might also say something like "Please avoid this in future to avoid all the red tape I have to deal with."

Given the specifics of this incident and what the driver said to me, I would also hope that there was an actual conversation with her to explain that what she said (and believes) was total... ahem, rubbish.
Not to mention that if her colleagues are aware of this then she might be considered a bit wacky.

Avatar
wtjs replied to Rendel Harris | 5 months ago
3 likes

there is no legal reason of which I am aware that they could not communicate to a complainant the outcome of the disciplinary procedure

This is, of course, exactly the same dodge used across the country by skip companies, bus companies and, most importantly, by the police- supported by the Information Commissioner. The Office of the Information Commissioner is influenced and swayed by the government into a device for thwarting the Freedom of Information Act and assisting public bodies with denial of Freedom of Information. The police use it to cover up not having done anything at all about offences against cyclists even when they have written that they would be 'taking action'. With apologies for the repetition

https://upride.cc/incident/4148vz_travellerschoicecoach_closepass/

this is the incident where Lancashire Constabulary claimed they would take action but have since spent much 'ratepayers' money and time in refusing to disclose what the action was- which was probably nothing at all. This case is now at the Information Tribunal where what is at stake is the protection of the police right to lie as much as they choose

Avatar
a1white replied to mitsky | 5 months ago
0 likes

I was going to give the bus driver the benefit of the doubt here, as just a careless overtake witohut thinking but her reaction is just ridiculous. She thinks the end of markings for the bike lane mean you have to suddenly stop for the bus that has cut you up? Does she understand how stupid that actually sounds? it's scary that a driver of vehicle like this is driving around with that kind of stupidity

Avatar
mitsky replied to a1white | 5 months ago
1 like

a1white, my thoughts exactly.

Avatar
Sredlums | 5 months ago
2 likes

Coming from the The Netherlands, with its lauded cycling infrastructure, and riding for hours every day as a bike messenger, I can asure you that a pass like that really isn't anything special.
I ride in big cities and in small villages and everywhere inbetween, and cars/busses/trucks passing you like this are completely common.

As long as the speed difference isn't too big, and you aren't cut off just a few meters further up I don't really have a problem with it.

Cycling is very common here. Drivers ride (or have at least ridden) bikes themselves. Any cyclist you encounter while driving could be anybody. Somone you know, like family, or a coworker etc. That makes them human, instead of 'an annoying anonymous weirdo in lycra'.
​But still, it really is not true that everybody here overtakes with 1,5m distance. Far from it (pun intended).

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Sredlums | 5 months ago
1 like

Thanks for sharing your experience of the place!

I don't think humans (driving cars) are much different about 100 miles East of Harwich. A couple of difference maybe - as you say people driving may be less antagonistic to people cycling as it is a normal mode of transport.

Do you find that as soon as drivers pass you they completely forget you exist (and then maybe pull in rapidly)? That's a common one here...

I imagine in NL drivers *expect* to see cyclists - so may be better at looking for them? Very often in UK drivers learn to look for motor vehicle only and you experience them looking right through you. Hopefully you have enough time to realise they didn't see you and take evasive action...

What makes the *looking out for cyclists* work better in NL is eg. at junctions drivers know (where) to expect cyclists. There are clear markings and the designs themselves are largely standard (across the country also, I believe?)

That is completely the opposite in the UK - there is no standardisation (despite rules - sorry - guidelines) for infra design. Not only is it rare to find cycle infra, it is never the same (and often a terrible design).

I think without (standard, ubiquitous, high quality) infra the drivers in NL would never have had the chance to become a little bit better...

Avatar
cyclisto replied to Sredlums | 5 months ago
0 likes

What I would add, this overtake is not entirely pointless. A bus carrying 20 people gaining 4 secs, is better than a single guy losing 10 secs.

When on bike, I try not to delay people carrying buses.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to cyclisto | 5 months ago
6 likes

cyclisto wrote:

What I would add, this overtake is not entirely pointless. A bus carrying 20 people gaining 4 secs, is better than a single guy losing 10 secs.

But not if it endangers one person.  Never mind the morals, or the fact that it costs several police / ambulance staff quite a bit of time, it will delay the bus passengers if the driver crashes into someone.  Rare of course but the delay each time would be substantial and probably impact the network.  Presumably the bus will have to stop at least until they've washed the bits out of the wheel arches?

Avatar
Backladder replied to cyclisto | 5 months ago
6 likes

cyclisto wrote:

When on bike, I try not to delay people carrying buses.

I like to think I'm quite strong but I would be impressed by any number of people carrying a bus, never mind multiple buses and would agree that it is best to keep out of their way.

Avatar
cyclisto replied to Backladder | 5 months ago
0 likes

I didn't see that! lol

Avatar
giff77 replied to Sredlums | 5 months ago
0 likes

🤔

Avatar
BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 5 months ago
3 likes

That looked like a fairly standard manoeuvre by a bus - tbf. I'm surprised the Police responded. TfL will send the usual 'we take such instances seriously' but then do nothing. 

Avatar
ktache | 5 months ago
5 likes

Has anyone not been squeezed into a bus stop during a half arsed attempt at a pass?

Avatar
mitsky replied to ktache | 5 months ago
0 likes

I can only really remember this one where I was actually squeezed:

https://youtu.be/xuXRZjKkNfo

Avatar
a1white replied to mitsky | 5 months ago
1 like

Ok, that one is really bad

Avatar
SimoninSpalding replied to ktache | 5 months ago
3 likes

Me me me!!!

We don't have any bus services to cut us up so they are not a concern of mine. Tractors, particularly those towing large trailers with bouncy balloon-like low pressure tyres scare the $h!t out of me.

Avatar
Simon E replied to SimoninSpalding | 5 months ago
1 like

SimoninSpalding wrote:

Tractors, particularly those towing large trailers with bouncy balloon-like low pressure tyres scare the $h!t out of me.

The tractor may well be driven by a teenager who doesn't think he needs to care while the trailers are even more scary when piled high with mud-covered spuds. And the road is covered in it too.

Avatar
HoarseMann | 5 months ago
8 likes

A bus driver once told me the Advanced Stop Line for cyclists means 'cyclists dismount and use the pedestrian crossing'. This was his justification for overtaking across the junction and forcing me into the railings on the other side (before immediately pulling into a bus stop of course).

Avatar
mitsky replied to HoarseMann | 5 months ago
1 like

Too late now, but maybe keep a copy of the highway code with You in case of situations like this?

I'd have asked them where it says that.
They might say "check the highway code" at which point I would wave it at them and ask them to show where...

Avatar
giff77 replied to HoarseMann | 5 months ago
3 likes

Bus driver told me that the ASL was a buffer zone to ensure that he had more braking distance and not send his s passengers flying if he had to stop for the lights 

Avatar
wtjs replied to giff77 | 5 months ago
3 likes

Bus driver told me that the ASL was a buffer zone to ensure that he had more braking distance and not send his s passengers flying if he had to stop for the lights

That's nowt! I have it in writing from OpSnap Lancs that the ASL is the stop line for motorists and that the true stop line only applies to cyclists. The significance of this, and it is in any case pretty much irrelevant in Lancashire where the police are very tolerant of motor vehicle RLJs because 'everybody does it', is that Lancashire Constabulary actually believes that a motorist is entitled legally to cross the true stop line if the front of his vehicle has already crossed the ASL when the lights turn red. Police ignorance of traffic law and the consequent Highway Code is just one of the crosses cyclists must bear.

Avatar
mattw | 5 months ago
1 like

I don't cycle I London usually.

Does taking primary early before bus stops have any effect on this behaviour?

Avatar
mitsky replied to mattw | 5 months ago
1 like

Possibly, but in this instance immediately after the bus stop is a segregated cycle lane with wands.

Avatar
Cocovelo | 5 months ago
9 likes

Had this before with a drivist. He punishment passed me because I hadn't looked over my shoulder to check that it was safe to proceed in the lane that I was already travelling in.

Schadenfraude duly delivered though as when he pulled over to argue with me (fast acceleration and hard on the brakes to show off the power of his right foot), he scraped his fancy alloy wheels of his expensive looking A*di along the kerb.

Avatar
mitsky replied to Cocovelo | 5 months ago
2 likes

This overtake by a PHV driver wasn't malicious but at completely the wrong place.
As it was next to a pedestrian island, the sharp kerb cut the tyre (You can hear it on the clip).
https://youtu.be/BhLJEgq8WW4

Fingers crossed the driver picks better places to overtake going forward.

Pages

Latest Comments