Friday, May 6, 2011

Most of them are fine, though

I am reporting DANGEROUS DRIVING and rude behaviour in relation to cyclists.

I don't know whether my witness is admissible as she is my wife: [MCMLXX's contact details]

At about 6.40pm on Wed 4th May 2011 I was cycling east along The Cut SE1. MCMLXX was a little behind me on her bike. As we approached the junction with Blackfriars Road, I moved into the right hand of the two lanes because I intended to go straight across onto Union St (the left lane is a filter left). The lights were green and several vehicles were already crossing the junction; there were no vehicles behind me at first but I took up a 'commanding position' in the correct lane to make it clear to anyone who did come up behind me that I was not turning left.

MCMLXX had not done so; she was just across the lane divider slightly in the left hand lane when a black cab swept past her.

As I crossed the junction, I was surprised to see this black cab RIGHT BEHIND ME. My wife said he was two inches from my back tyre. He was way too close; dangerously and aggressively close.

As we got onto Union St and the taxi started to overtake me, I raised my right hand (all fingers spread - NOT a rude gesture) as if to ask "what on earth did you think you were doing...?". The taxi roared past, again uncomfortably close.

It isn't even as if he needed to be so close to catch the lights; MCMLXX was able to cross behind him.

And unsurprisingly his aggressive overtaking was a waste of time, as he was soon stopped at the next set of lights. I was able to pull up alongside and lean down to speak to the driver. He opened his window and it was perhaps only at this point that he realised I had my 3-year-old daughter on the bicycle as well.

I told the driver "Don't harass cyclists on a junction - that was bloody dangerous!". I didn't catch exactly what he said first, but then he said something about "get a bloody car". I was just replying that I do have a car as well (at various times I am a motorist, pedestrian, cyclist, tube and bus user.. and a taxi passenger) when the lights changed and he roared off again. I saw him pull into an entrance on Great Suffolk Street.

As well as being rude and aggressive, this driver clearly believes that cyclists - even riding correctly and following the Highway Code and cycling best practice - do not deserve the same consideration as motorised traffic. That makes him a danger to other road users.

I've also given them the sod's number plate and description. Let's hope something comes of it.

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