Witnesses sought after driver allegedly hit cyclist with a pole in South London

Driver allegedly hits cyclist on the back of the head with a steering wheel lock on Addiscombe Road in Croydon on Monday

Lower Addiscombe Road (Google Maps)

Police are looking for witnesses after a cyclist in Croydon was attacked with a pole after letting a pedestrian cross at a zebra crossing.

Matthew Ballard was struck on the back of the head by the driver of a Vauxhall Astra at around 8.15pm in Lower Addiscombe Road on Monday night following a verbal altercation.

Mr Ballard told the Croydon Guardian that he confronted the driver as he stopped at the zebra crossing for driving too close.

He said: "I was slowing down at the time because there was someone wanting to cross the zebra crossing. So I turned around and said, 'What are you doing mate?'

"The person crossed the zebra crossing, I went forward and he's come speeding in front of me trying to push me off my bike. I'm saying, 'What the hell are you doing?' and he's mouthing off, swearing."

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Mr Ballard says the driver then produced a yellow pole, thought to be a steering wheel lock, and threatened him with it. As he then drove past the rider, the driver swung the pole and struck Mr Ballard on the back of the head.

"Luckily I managed to stay on my bike but he could have knocked me unconscious," Mr Ballard added. "He could have killed me. He could have hit me in the wrong place, the temple or whatever, and killed me with a metal pole."

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Police confirmed they were investigating a road rage attack and appealed for witnesses to come forward. The driver is described as being black, with a beard and thought to be aged in his mid-20s.

Anyone with information on the attack or the driver can call the Metropolitan Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously 0800 555 111, quoting reference number 3824085/15.

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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.