A Gloucestershire company has sacked a lorry driver who was caught on camera last week overtaking a cyclist in Lancashire with just inches to spare in what some cyclists viewing the video interpreted as a “punishment pass.”
Forest of Dean Caravans confirmed to the website Caravan Times that it had terminated the employment of the driver following the incident on the A59 at Samlesbury in Lancashire last Wednesday morning.
The company’s transport manager, Mark Turley, told the website: "The driver is no longer an employee of ours after talking to him. It was a stupid piece of driving and we've been let down by one of our employees.
"We're unhappy with what happened and shocked with what [the driver] did.
"It's never happened before and we've been transporting caravans for over forty years," he added.
"We've dealt with it, and hopefully now we can move on."
The video uploaded to YouTube, which shows the flatbed lorry that was towing a caravan passing the cyclist and cutting in on him, appears below; if you're at work, you may wish to turn the sound down - unsurprisingly, there's some swearing.
On Friday, the cyclist involved, who gave his name as Jon, told road.cc that he did not want the driver to lose his job, so long as the incident was an isolated one.
He told us: “I’d like to see him get points on his licence and severely reprimanded at work.
“I make mistakes, everyone makes mistakes, and we need tolerance on the roads.
“But I would like to see him get prosecuted, because it was dangerous and it was deliberate.”
Jon believed that the close overtaking manoeuvre, accompanied by the driver leaning on his horn, was prompted by the fact he wasn’t riding on a cycle path that ran alongside the road.
In the description of the YouTube video, he said: “There is an unsuitable cycle track at the side of the road which is a shared one with no rights of way and loads of lamp posts and signs in the middle of it! That is probably why he had a problem.”
The incident has been reported to both Lancashire and Gloucestershire police.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.