Devon councillor swears at cyclists after allegedly driving them off the road

Bridford councillor James Atkinson flicks the middle finger at a group of cyclists after allegedly running them off the road while attempting to overtake

A parish councillor has been caught on camera showing a group of cyclists the middle finger just moments after allegedly running them off the road.

James Atkinson, a councillor in Bridford, South Devon, reportedly tried to overtake three cyclists on a blind bend when he was forced to swerve.

The cyclists allege that two of their party were knocked off by Mr Atkinson's Land Rover, suffering minor head injuries and cuts and bruises.

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Jason Acreman, Rob Peirce and Paul Reynolds then claim that when confronted, Mr Atkinson told them to "F**k off" and that they 'deserved it'.

The Plymouth Herald reports that the police attended the scene but Mr Atkinson had already departed, but a photo on the paper's website seemingly shows the councillor with his middle finger up at the cameraman.

Mr Peirce told the Herald: "We have to deal with crash incidents on a regular basis, but this was something else.

"He was incredible aggressive and showed absolutely no remorse or concern. After a while he said we deserved it because we were riding four a breast, but we weren't.

"Luckily there was an oncoming car, who was a witness. (Atkinson) was coming down the long straight which we were at the end of, so he would have seen us on the horizon, but he didn't slow down."

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Devon Police confirmed that they are investigating the incident, which occurred near Teign Valley Golf club on Sunday, July 5.

A police spokesman said: "At about 12.30pm on Sunday there was a collision between a Land Rover and some cyclists between Christow and Canonteign turning. Two cyclists have come off their bikes.

"One male has a head injury while the other man has cuts and bruises.

"Counter allegations have been made by the driver who is alleging that he was assaulted by a cyclist, and we are making inquiries as to what happened."

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.