Dangerous aggressive TFL bus driver - What now?

Hi all, looking for some advise on a situation that happened with a bus driver recently on route 205. I am not satisfied with the response I got and want detail on what happened to the driver. Where should I go and are they right in saying they cannot give me specific details of his disciplinary procedure ?

It will take a few minutes to read through but we need this driver off London roads ! See email chain of the incident / response :

 

Initial Email to TFL from myself:

At 5.45 pm Thurs 10th May I was cycling along mile end road (blue cycle highway) towards Algate. Close to Queen Mary University a bus was driving extremely close to me. With about 100m to the bus stop he overtook and cut me right off. I had to almost mount the pavement. I passed and stopped and his window. I confronted the driver through his window saying it a cycle to which he replied 'Its his bus lane'. I cycled off and left it at that. The bus passed me and then ahead in the distance I saw another cyclist being cut up exactly the same as me !

I caught up with the cyclist and he was extremely annoyed as was I. We decided to catch up with the bus again and get the drivers number. At this point we were close to cambridge road. The bus stopped at the stop and we both stood in front to take photos. The driver pulled down the blind to stop us taking the pictures. The other cyclist went to the door to take a photo and I went to his window. When he saw me he reached out shouting and tried to grab my phone ( the other cyclist has a photo showing him reaching out at me). When I took a picture of his face he shouted ' F*uck you you little Irish p*rick".
I told him I would be reporting him and following it through. He then set off some alarm and jumped out of the bus saying he would get the police. We said great to which he jumped back in the bus and drove away.
I took the other cyclists details and he was going to make a report himself.
I have a picture of the front of the bus with the blind down and another with the drivers face.
This driver is dangerous and extremely aggressive and racist.
I would like a fully enquiry into this. Please contact me and I can send through the photos.
Response:
Dear  

I am writing in response to the complaint you made about the driver of a bus on route 205. 

I was concerned to learn of the events you described as the safety of all road users is of paramount importance to us.  In view of your comments, and others received on the same matter, the driver has been dealt with at the highest level of our disciplinary procedure.  Appropriate action has been taken with regard to this occasion and to ensure that such behaviour is not repeated.  I regret that I cannot be specific about the action taken against the individual in this case as this would be a breach of data protection with regard to staff confidentiality.   A range of sanctions is, however, available depending on the driver’s previous record.  I would add that all our drivers are regularly monitored covertly by our own training staff, TfL’s Mystery Shoppers and staff from AA Drivetech and their reports are kept on the driver’s personal record, as are complaints such as yours.  Naturally any adverse reports are acted upon swiftly.   

Please accept our apologies for any upset caused. 

Yours sincerely 
 
Customer Services Manager
Stagecoach London 
Another email from myself and their final response :
David,
Thank you for your response. However I am not satisfied with it.
I would like a more detailed explanation of the actions taken by Stagecoach to ensure this driver will not act in the same manner again.
I understand that you may not be able to comment on specific cases but if that is the case I would like to know what is the highest level of action your company will act upon i.e suspension, taken off road duties etc.
This is a very serious matter and both myself and the other cyclist are in contact and want to ensure that this driver is no longer a danger on the London roads. I am strongly of the opinion that this driver should not be on the road and will follow this through until I am satisfied that this situation will not arise again. 
I await your further response.
Regards,
Response:
Dear 

Thank you for your message. 

The process that our garage manager would use in dealing with this matter is to formally interview the driver, with representation if required, view the CCTV and go through the statements from yourself and the others.  The driver would then be given a chance to defend himself after which a judgement would be made.  A number of sanctions are available, ranging from warnings to dismissal but possibly including retraining if appropriate, depending on previous performance.   In this case the CCTV of the initial incident and subsequent events is clear and the action taken reflects this. 

I hope that this reassures you sufficiently.
Thanks for taking the time to read through. Please let me know your thoughts.
Nigel

 

This post was edited by Jambas at 05:20pm 19 Feb 2014.

Replies

This content was deleted by London Cycling Campaign at 06:12pm 08 Feb 2013.

I'm on your side Jambas and empathise with your plight.

But, you / we can't expect any employer to discipline a member of staff in a manner that would satisfy every member of the public. Otherwise, sackings could become ten-a-penny. You have done what you can and action has been taken on what the CCTV has highlighted.

And finally - and I say this to everyone - if you ever do have a chance to shower praise on a bus driver (or anyone) please consider doing so, because it is far easier to complain when things go badly wrong than it is to sing people's praises.

 

 

This post was edited by beninhanwell at 06:50pm 09 Jun 2012.

The highest level of action is clearly dismissal.  Perhaps he was already on a final warning and decided to go out with a bang? ! Can't imagine a transport manager tolerating this.

If so it seems unlikely that Stagecoach will give the driver anything other than a narrative reference (can't recall the exact term), which will cease his prospect of employment with anything reputable. However if you wish to make sure then report the matter to the police: the driving, the attempted assault, aggravated - by the racially abusive language.

And consider that he may be driving his car on similar principles; go to the police promptly.

Have you been copying in TfL?

(Note that Stagecoach say 'the others received on the same matter' (comments), which suggests the possibility of complaints from passangers as well as yourself and the other cyclist.) 

(I agree with Benin Hanwell up to 'you have done what you can' and on the praise bit.  I would add that I would like to see an increase in the good practise of holding up motor vehicles to let the bus pull out; relish the buzz when the lights waggle in thanks, and don't squeeze through to get in front of a bus at lights if you ride a 'fixie'.  As an immobilised cyclist forced onto bus journeys through the City my homicide fantasies towards such riders increased 500% (boiling oil out of the window).) 

Gerry

I sympathise with your experience. You might just have to accept that you don't have any right to know the outcome of their internal disciplinary procedures. It certainly sounds like they took your complaint very seriously, and that you and the other cyclist took every possible step to make sure that it was. Well done.
  • By Sabine at 07:22pm 16 Sep 2012

Well done, Jambas for raising this issue and posting this here. Whatever it was good for you at least did SOMETHING about it and didn't give up that easily. 

Hi All,

I see this a post from some time ago however I feel that the issues are very current and will be for some time. I am a new cyclist to the roads and feel absolutelty disgusted by the way that both cyclists and drivers treat one another on the roads.

I feel that there is some serious animosity between drivers and cyclists which has been proven to cause a vast amount of devastion. I feel the only way to write this, is for cyclists to start abiding to road rules and for drivers to feel confident that they are doing so (and for them to also abdie by road rules), don't give other cyclists a bad rep, PLEASE!

However, I do also feel that my confidence is slowly deterioting by the number of times I have almost come so close to being in a serious accident by reckless driving and also London Bus drivers. While I understand I have responsability of my own cycling, do drivers understand that they also have a responsability to be safe? What training do drivers get on cyclists?

What needs to change? There needs to be a documentary researching and higlighting all these issues and safety implications from both sides of road....

Here is my letter regarding my incident...any thoughts would be appreciated.

This morning, 30th November at around 8:55am, I was travelling by bicycle down Tollington Road towards Camden on my way to work. On this road there is clearly marked a white bicycle between two lines. If I am correct in thinking this is a lane for cyclists to go in order to go ahead of traffic. As I was in this lane, a bus which I believe to be a 271 and a man who I believe to be black, no less than metres behind me began to beep his horn a number of times gesturing me vigerously to get out of his way. I cannot express how dangerous this was, even if I had been in the wrong lane, which I was not. I am a new cyclist however I am a confident cycler, had I not been this could have seen huge repercussions from his actions. I felt extremely distressed after this which also made my confidence cycling the rest of my journey unsafe.

 

While I understand that there are certain feelings and animosities between drivers and cyclists, I also understand that there are some unsafe people who do not abide by the highway code and drive safely, both cyclists and drivers. However I do feel that it is incredibly important that your drivers are aware of the rules and boundaries they must abide when it comes to cyclists. Cyclists are extremely vulnerable on the roads and while we must do everything we possibly can to stay safe, we also need to feel that other vehicles on the road are being just as safe.

 

I am willing to accept that some cyclists do not abide by the rules, but I would like to know what training your drivers have exactly and how you are going to make myself and other people in the London area safe from your drivers, who somehow feel that it is ok to scare a cyclist? I would also like to draw your attention to the fact that a vehicles horn was not designed to scare another, it was designed as a warning signal and therefore using it in the wrong manner could cause absolute devastation.

 

This is not the first time that I have come in close contact to one of your drivers in an unsafe manner. I have also witnessed other people coming into close contact and very near misses. This only states that there is much to be done around the awareness of your drivers and cyclists on the road.

 

This one tried to get me, and couldn't have cared less when we later had a "chat"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oe-dZNNInQ&feature=player_detailpage

reported to

http://www.fixmytransport.com/

looks like some action may be taken

  • By demeton at 01:57pm 19 Feb 2014
im a bus driver, i started 7weeks ago. i use to blame bus drivers fall but no there so many stupid cyclist on the road they dont know they are in dangers! they might want to die but i dont want to lost my job after 2years i found fulltime job, i see cyclist in my dream every single day. Last week i stoped in morgate lights there wasn't any space i check my nearside mirror there was anyone lights change i check my nearside there was a cyclist imagene i didnt check my mirror bang plz think! some drivers dont even have hi-vest and lights we might be professional drivers but dont forget that we are humans too!
  • By phufbl at 05:20pm 19 Feb 2014

demeton, I'm glad to hear you have found a job.

You are right that safety is everybody's responsibility. In this instance the original poster reported a specific incidence of unsafe driving by a bus driver and a number of other people (myself included) have had similar experiences with aggressive or inconsiderate bus drivers (and drivers of other vehicles). 

The cyclist moving up the inside of your bus at Moorgate may have been acting unwisely but that does not excuse the examples of dangerous driving above.

I'm glad you diligently checked your mirrors and avoided an accident in your example. Please keep up the good work. But remember that while you might be scared you may lose your job, any cyclists at risk of collision with a bus will be scared they will be seriously injured or killed.

Please continue to look out for cyclists, even when you think they are doing something incorrectly it is not worth them dying over it.  

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