Company blames cyclist after complaint about aggressive driver

Cyclist Michael Perry complains about aggressive driving by a GSH Upholstery van, to which the company director replies that it was the rider's fault

The director of a Nottingham upholstery company told a cyclist the rider's "stupidity" is behind the aggressive driving he experienced from one of company's drivers.

Michael Perry emailed GSH Upholstery to complain about the behaviour of the driver of one of the firm's vans, which he claims "aggressively beeped their horn" when overtaking him several times over a three-month period.

Company director James Hartley replied to Mr Perry's email stating that the incidents on the A6002 were a result of the rider not using the designated cycle lanes and riding "at least a yard off the curb side".

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The Nottingham Post reports that Mr Perry wrote to the company on September 15, stating: "A few times now about 7am on Low Wood road. The driver of your small blue van I think it's a Ford. They have been aggressively beeping their horn as they overtake my bike.

"It's like they are trying to knock me off. It's getting stupid - if I fall and have an accident who knows what will happen. I am getting a go pro camera to put on my bike so if this carries on I will take the video to the police."

In reply, Mr Hartley criticised the way Mr Perry was using the road and misquoting the Highway Code's advice for cyclists.

An extract of the reply reads: "I have spoken to the driver in question and reviewed the video footage from the van. I would like to point out that the council spends MILLIONS of pounds across the country painting white lines creating cycle tracks for YOURS AND OTHERS SAFETY, WHY NOT USE THEM?.

"Secondly if you're cycling at least 1 yard off the curb side on a road with central refuges, passing cars, vans and lorries cannot get past, HENCE THE CYCLE TRACK??. So please do not email me trying to get one of my employees disciplined for YOUR stupidity.

"May I suggest a cycling course on road use for YOUR safety and other drivers, as if you were to be knocked off your bike while you were on the road by a passing vehicle with a cycle track road side, I would feel for the driver as you were not adhering to the RULES of the HIGHWAY CODE."

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In fact, the highway code states that riders should use cycle lanes, advanced stop lines, cycle boxes and toucan crossings "unless at the time it is unsafe to do so".

"Use of these facilities is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer," rules 61 and 63 state.

The Post reports that Mr Hartley sent another email to Mr Perry saying that the A6002, Low Wood Road, is "not considered safe due to lorries and large transportation using this road."

It was pointed out by the paper, though, that the road has no restrictions for cyclists, nor does it have a cycle lane.

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