Dangerous bus incident

Yesterday evening at 18:00 I was cycling Eastbound along Picadilly (I have marked a spot on the map but I don't recall exactly where it was). There was still full daylight and as usual I was wearing high vis gear. I had just overtaken another cyclist and had pulled into what I consider to be a normal riding position about 2 feet from the kerb.

At this point I was overtaken by a bus. The bus did not get all the way past me and at the point where I was approximately level with the exit doors at the middle of the bus, the bus started to indicate left, slow down and pull into a stop. I only avoided being knocked off and potentially crushed by the bus because I slowed down to almost a stop to allow the bus to go fully past me before I pulled out to go past the stopped bus on the right hand side.

As I passed the driver's window I called "watch what you are doing", to which the driver shouted "piss off" and stuck his middle finger up at me. I foolishly stuck my middle finger up right back at the driver, which I regret doing, but sometimes these things happen in the heat of the moment. I also wish I had stopped and noted the route number and registration plate of the bus but (a) I had somewhere to be and (b) I just wanted to get away from the dangerous and potentially aggressive bus driver

I have submitted a complaint to TFL but I doubt they will be able to do anything because I did not notice either the bus route number or registration number so I do not think they will be able to identify which bus and which bus driver it was.

Is there anything else I can do? I'm not wishing to tar all bus drivers with the same brush but I am mainly posting here to highlight a potential issue, ask if anyone has had similar experiences and share my experience so others may learn from it or be more aware of the danger posed by being overtaken by a bus.   

This post was edited by phufbl at 2:19pm 20 April 2014.


Happened to me and a friend last year in about the same place. We banged on the windows of the bus and had a real go at the driver, probably not the right thing to do but he certainly got the message for almost crushing us. His passengers also got the message about what the driver had done to us.

Its about time TfL did something about their bus drivers along this stretch of road.

I think the problem is that cyclists travel along that stretch at the same speed as the buses and when they do try and overtake the probability of them achieving it is not good and then they have to get out of the way of oncoming traffic befoe they've completed the manoevre. They need to be more patient and trained to do so.

Writing to TfL is pointless as they do nothing even if you have the bus number and drivers name. Even an apology from the company would be nice but I doubt if you'll get that.

Of course as you say its probably only a minority of bus drivers who act in this irresponsible way.

There is something you can do for yourself - but it won't bring any penalty on that driver. Please don't take this the wrong way, but have you had cycle training? I've been cycling for years and years but I did some bikeability training because I/ you can learn something every day. It's usually free or cheap through London Borough councils either the one where you live or where you work or study. You could even say that you want training on Piccadilly. I'm not making excuses for that driver because from what you've written that shouldn't have happened. What crosses my mind is that if you'd been further out from the kerb the driver may not have bothered trying to pass you. I say 'may' - he could still have done something stupid.    In the past (7 years ago?) I had an issue with a bus driver on Putney bridge who came alongside me then decided to pull into the bus stop. When stopped I put my bike in front of the front doors until I had his bus number, company, a good look at him and had a go at extracting an apology. I made him wait. If he was in a hurry I was going to make sure he lost time by his dangerous behaviour - so maybe he won't do it again. Of course I didn't get a 'sorry I was wrong' - just the justification that he was a 'professional driver' - but I did report him. TfL never give details of how the incident has been dealt with so you'll never know, but report it to them as well as the bus company.

  • By phufbl at 12:51pm 17 April 2014

I see what you are saying Jon Fray - and no offence taken - but while I was not in the centre of the lane I believe I was riding confidently and assertively and I wasn't exactly cowering in the gutter.

I would usually ride in a primary position to stop traffic from overtaking if I can see there is an obstruction, a junction or the back of a queue ahead but in this case the road was actually surprisingly clear given the location and time so I was happy to let any faster traffic go past and I didn't foresee a hazard with that. I only occasionally ride along this route and I am not totally familiar with where the bus stops are. Additionally the road is dual-laned at this point and the bus did move partially or almost wholly into the second lane to overtake before pulling back in to the left.

I am fully open to the idea of bike training, although in this instance I think the root cause of the problem was either the bus driver's training, his attitude and suitability for the job, or both

Hi Jon Kray,  when it happened to me and my friend we were actually 2 abreast in the inside lane keeping up with traffic when the bus overtook. Bus drivers along this stretch of road are a real menace. Yes bikeability training may be useful to some but not in this instance.

  • By Dave H at 2:19pm 20 April 2014

All buses on TfL London Buses contracts have to have 8 external CCTV cameras as a long standing condition of their contracts. These cameras continuously record, overwriting every 7-14 days.

In the event of any incident, if there is a clearly identifiable London Bus nearby get a not of the bus number (or route number), and video footage can be downloaded.

Obviously if the incident involves the bus you get the video from that bus's cameras, and remember that the internal cameras also can show where you were outside  

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