Monday, 13 July 2009
The bus driver from hell....
On Sunday Mr Weenie had to work so it was agreed that I would pop to the massive Tesco nearby and by two panniers worth of shopping rather than do our usual Sunday shop together. I hate having that much weight in the panniers and the road surface on the route's a bit rubbish but off I popped for the 10-minute ride to Tesco.
On my way I passed a bus. There's nothing unusual about this, one of the local routes goes past the Tesco in both directions so people who don't have bicycles or cars can do their shopping in comfort. I myself have used the route several times. It's a narrow road and there was a bit of frog-leaping between me and the bus as he was ahead, then I would be ahead as he was at a stop and then he'd be ahead etc.
He got a bit aggressive, his engine was revved but I ignored it and continued on my merry way. Then we got to the section in the photograph. As you can see it's quite narrow and I can't even squeeze through with a car safely, let alone a bus. Surely everyone can see that, surely it's obvious, surely?
Said bus driver overtook me and swung in front as I reached the crossing island. I was going a good 15-20mph so he must have been going at a fair lick. I would estimate that the space between the front of the bus and the kerb was about two inches and I was halfway down the bus. If I had carried on I would have been crushed against the kerb as the back of the bus swung in and possibly dragged under the wheels. I braked. Hard.
I nearly went over the handlebars, the driver behind nearly hit me and swore at me, the bus carried on. I waited until the shaking had stopped and carried on. I caught up with Mr Bus at the aforementioned Tesco stop (hmmmm surely this proves I was going fast enough that he didn't actually need to overtake me....). As the bus was stopped I remonstrated with the driver asking in no polite terms if he was the driver who had just nearly killed me. He laughed and put two thumbs up. Obviously it was f***ing hilarious.
This morning I rang the bus company and made a full and detailed complaint, I had taken the individual bus ID number and recorded the time of the incident.
Unfortunately there are many bad bus drivers but I try and believe that, like cyclists, the evil few make the good majority look bad. He nearly killed me and laughed about it, but what made me complain was that I nearly didn't get on my bike this morning. I've never been scared enough that I've thought about not using my bike and I'll be damned if I let some idiot with a bus achieve that particular honour.
Top tips for complaining about bus drivers:
Get the bus id number if you can. It'll normally be a combination of letters and numbers and will be prominently displayed. The route number is also important.
Get a description of the driver.
Get the name of the road where the incident happened. If it's a long road look for identifying buildings etc.
Don't suffer in silence. Bus companies don't want bad drivers, they want to know if there are dangerous people in their vehicles.