I was gliding along on my bike in fine weather at 4:35pm near the York hospital as I came to a bus which was stopped at a bus stop. I checked for indicators, as they have a tendency to pull out suddenly, but there was no signal and no sign of movement. I started to pass the bus.
When I was halfway along the length of the bus it moved off and pulled out. I have had this happen to me before, the worst being the bendy buses (dangerous to cyclists – should be outlawed). The problem of buses pulling out like this is that the cyclist, as I was yesterday, is forced into the path of the oncoming traffic for a while before the bus has passed sufficiently to allow the cyclist to tuck in behind it.
I had no option of course but to slow down to tuck in behind the bus before getting hit by oncoming traffic. As he pulled out and forced me out I could see the driver in his wing mirror so I shouted HOY very loudly. I saw him look at me in his mirror. He had to stop very soon as the traffic was bad. This time I overtook him as he waited behind stationary traffic. As I passed the bus I shouted, “Dangerous!” at the driver’s closed window.
I must have annoyed him because then the road cleared as traffic moved away ahead of me and the bus had a clear road, apart from me on my bicycle.
I heard the bus engine go into high revs and the front of the bus shot past me and immediately pulled over towards me. I could see what he was doing – a bit of road-rage I think. As the bus forced me over I banged on it with my hand as hard as I could while trying to stay upright on my wobbling bike. I banged on the bus so hard that all the passengers as well as the driver will have just about jumped out of their skins. The fact that he continued to skim alongside me despite my warning thumps showed me that his action was deliberate.
The driver was not clever as there were traffic lights a little way ahead and I could imagine someone else in a similar position to me pedalling like mad to catch him for revenge. Bikes often catch up with traffic at lights. Drivers like him should remember that.
However, I did not chase him. I stopped and got out my mobile phone and phoned First bus company. I got a very nice and understanding lady on the phone who was very apologetic. I was able to tell her the number of the bus, route 6 with the ID number on the back of 60916. She assured me my complaint would be taken seriously. I was told someone would be in touch, but I heard nothing from them today.
Strictly speaking the charge would be dangerous driving rather than careless driving as the behaviour was clearly intended and likely to do harm or injury. I have not decide yet whether to report it to the police. I do now regret not stopping and asking if some of those watching would have been willing to act as witnesses. Many people would have seen what happened as there are often hospital staff standing on the pavement there on a smoking break. Perhaps some of the passengers would have been willing, I know I would have.
Perhaps I will phone First tomorrow to see if they have taken the incident serously. The trouble is I want to get on with my life and not get bogged down in this. Then again, cyclist have been killed by busses in York so if I don’t do anything I am not part of the answer. Oh well, we will see.