As a cyclist, being tailgated by the driver of any vehicle is bad – but when it's a bus driver, who tries to overtake by speeding, then gets out at a red light and not only seeks confrontation, but swears and threatens to call the cops just because you "got on his nerves", is surely worse, as a London cyclist tells us.
Rendel Harris was going down Herne Hill on his bike yesterday just before noon, when a driver behind the wheel of an out-of-service Go Ahead London bus started driving just "two to three metres behind" him, and tried to overtake twice, despite him already riding at the speed limit of 20mph.
Harris told road.cc: "He was behind me for about 800 metres, in which time I was never below the 20mph limit for the road (it's a steep hill). He twice pulled out to try and overtake in that time and had to pull back in due to oncoming traffic."
Herne Hill 2/9/23 11.30AM
1/5 Bus driver of Go Ahead vehicle SN58CEY (out of service) tailgated me all the way down Herne Hill, driving 2-3m off my back wheel, and twice attempted dangerously to overtake, even though I was riding at the 20mph limit for the road. pic.twitter.com/iUDfYRHX8Y
— Rendel Harris (@Rendel_Harris) September 2, 2023
Based on some quick calculations, that would place the bus driver behind Harris for approximately 90 seconds.
He added: "The only other cyclist about was my wife but she was behind him so no issue, the traffic in front I caught up with near the bottom of the hill so being behind me did not slow the driver up for a single second!"
As soon as both of them come to a halt at the red light at Herne Hill station, the driver screams while still seated in his seat: "I've got you, I've got you!" He proceeds to climb out of the bus hastily and rings up the emergency services, telling Harris: "You stand right here and shut up. I'm going to call the police you piece of s***."
"I'm a bus driver and I've got a cyclist here," the driver says on the phone. "I need police assistance right now." Presumably being asked what was the emergency situation, the bus driver can be heard saying: "He's really getting on my nerves."
Harris cheekily remarks: "Really getting on your nerves isn't a criminal offence buddy!"
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) September 3, 2023
Harris said that he could hear the police dispatcher ask: "Have they assaulted you?", to which the driver says: "No." The dispatcher asks again: "Have they threatened you?", and the driver replies: "Not yet."
Harris tries to ask him his name, but the driver walks away. Shortly after, he told road.cc that he climbed back in his bus and locked the doors, telling me that the police were coming.
"He didn't do anything, he very weirdly went and hid in his bus on the top deck, then every so often he would pop up and apparently take another photograph of us and then disappear again!," Harris said. "When we left I knocked on the door and shouted that we were leaving unless he could tell us the police were definitely coming, he didn't show his face!"
He also tweeted: "This person is clearly not sufficiently mentally stable to drive a large vehicle (or indeed any vehicle) on public roads," adding that he will send a formal complaint to Go Ahead London.
road.cc has contacted Go Ahead London for an update on the situation, and the private bus operator group told road.cc that it was "urgently investigating this footage and will interview the driver".
Harris, a road.cc reader and regular cyclist, meanwhile, added that he had been out for a 40km ride in London this morning and every bus driver he encountered was "lovely". "As with most things it's only a tiny minority," he said.
Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.