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Fresh police warning to Bristol bus company after another close pass caught on camera by cyclist

Footage emerges of second of two incidents earlier this month that happened within 90 minutes of each other

Police have issued a fresh warning to Bristol’s main bus operator after a second video emerged of one of its drivers making a close pass on a cyclist earlier this month.

The incident happened just 90 minutes after one on October that had already resulted in a warning to FirstBus from Avon & Somerset Constabulary, reports the Bristol Post.

The new footage, involving A double decker number 73 bus, was shot at about 4pm on Thursday 4 October by cyclist James Taylor on the dual carriageway A38 at Patchway.

He told the newspaper: "In over 18,000 miles of cycling around Bristol and South Gloucestershire this was the closest I'd come to being sideswiped by a close-passing bus.

"The experience was scary as it forced me off the main carriageway (which I needed to use) onto a side turning.

"The outside lane was clear and there was no reason for the bus driver not to go out around me like every other driver did, safely, that day.

"As the bus passed me I could tell it was close from the side-draft.

“Despite having been in the right place on the road I was barged out of the way and it would have put a less experienced cyclist off altogether.”

He added: "Ironically I was heading to hospital - glad I could complete the journey by bike and not in an ambulance."

The rider sent the footage to police, who sent a warning to the bus operator and told Mr Taylor in an email:  "On viewing the footage I agree that the standard of driving falls below the required standard and I shall be sending an advisory letter to the registered keeper of the vehicle.

"I shall not be seeking to prosecute the driver of the vehicle however the transport manager and driver will be made aware of their responsibilities to other road users and that as professional drivers the standards they are held by are obviously higher than for normal road users."

A FirstBus spokesman told the Bristol Post: “We have been made aware of the incident, and have spoken to the driver about the importance of keeping a safe distance when overtaking cyclists.

"During training our drivers are instructed only to overtake cyclists when it is safe to do so and to keep a safe distance.

“We train our drivers to be ‘cyclist aware’, which is very important in Bristol and the wider region as so many people are keen cyclists, and First is proud of its safety record in the West of England,” he added.

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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