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London firm sacks driver after complaint from cyclist to police website

Video evidence showed driver swerved at bike rider

A London window cleaning firm has sacked one of its drivers after a cyclist complained about his behaviour to his employers and also made a report to a new police website that allows people to log instances of bad driving in the capital.

The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) newsletter reported that LCC member James Hoggarth was riding his bike on Pall Mall when a car came right up behind him and the driver started beeping the horn, despite there being a bus in the left-hand lane and nowhere for the cyclist to go.

The vehicle then overtook him, almost causing Mr Hoggarth to come of his bike, and when he caught up with it in traffic, with the cyclist saying that the driver then “swore and swerved his car at me."

He had the presence of mind to jot down the registration number of the vehicle as well as the name of the company it belonged to, NCPM247, and subsequently complained to the company about the driver’s behaviour.

He also reported the incident to the Metropolitan Police’s ‘Roadsafe London’ website, which encourages members of the public to notify the police of instances of bad driving, resulting in police also approaching the company concerned.

The company, which describes itself as “the most environmentally friendly London window cleaner,” says that it is serious about road safety and has equipped all of its vehicles with videocameras. It told Mr Hoggarth that when footage showed that the driver had swerved at him, the employee was suspended and later dismissed.

In a comment on the LCC website, NCPM247 said: “Further to our very strict approach to road safety, particularly towards cyclists (our director cycles to work daily), we have removed the driver from our company.”

It added that it “would like to offer a 10% discount to all LCC members for window cleaning services in London.”

The LCC also quoted Detective Chief Inspector Nick Chalmers, who oversees the RoadSafe site, who said: "The primary aim of RoadSafe is not of prosecuting offenders but raising awareness of the potential consequences of their actions in order to promote road safety.”

He continued: "The scheme allows any member of the community to report their concerns about road conditions, road user behaviour or criminality to Police and each report is dealt with on its own merits"

LCC communications officer Mike Cavenett added: "While this is no substitution for stronger enforcement of laws against, for example, speeding or mobile phone use, it's welcome that the police have recognised that there are too many unreported incidents under the current system."

Mr Hoggarth is now seeking to prosecute the driver for attempted assault, with the assistance of LCC’s recommended firm of solicitors, Levenes.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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OldRidgeback | 13 years ago

That's one driver who REALLY hates cyclists now.

Ironic in a way that the possible charge will be for attempted assault rather than a driving offence. However on past record it seems likely that an attempted assault charge will be taken more seriously in court.

i_want_one_of_those | 13 years ago

See, sometimes it is worth making a complainant!! Good that the system works and the Company took positive action. However, had the director not been a keen cyclist, I wonder what the outcome may have been.....

neilwheel | 13 years ago

Great attitude by NCPM247.
Instead of the usual 'don't blame us' approach, they're being seen to be taking action over the bad behaviour of their staff.

Let's hope other companies follow suit.

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