Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Questions For A Taxi Driver

The following is a letter I have sent to Glasgow City Councils taxi licencing board.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Whilst I was cycling to my place of work on Friday 23rd January at approximately 8:20am along Auchenhowie Road I was passed by taxi number 884 (X856 SOJ). Auchenhowie Road is quite a narrow road and thus when there is oncoming traffic it is not safe to pass a cyclist such as myself. As a result I take a strong position to discourage drivers from squeezing past me when it isn't safe. Unfortunately the driver of cab number 884 decided to overtake anyway forcing me to take evasive action.

Due to the high mileage that I cycle each week (over 100 miles) from time to time I experience bad driving. Thus some time ago I decided to start wearing a camera on my helmet and a rear camera on my bike. These cameras provide evidence of the incidents that I face. Thus, I have footage of the incident which can be viewed here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbI9tpZHsgg)

As you can see, as well as the close pass itself I caught up with the driver and asked him why he chose to drive so close to me. As the driver points out himself, due to my road position there was not enough room to pass safely. Despite acknowledging this he still decided to pass me anyway. The driver then goes on to display his ignorance by suggesting that the road we were traveling on was 'not a cycle lane....it's a motorway'. The driver is clearly questioning my right to be there, to take the road position that I did, and felt justified in demonstrating this by driving close to me, even when he himself suggested that I was too far out.

I am sure I do not have to point out to you that not only do I have the right to cycle on that road, but I also have the right to take up as much of the lane as I feel necessary for my safety. The only criticism of my position would be that I was not out far enough, allowing the taxi to creep through. I will try to adjust my road position accordingly in the future.

I would be grateful if you could investigate this matter. I would also be grateful if you could show the driver this footage. I would be interested to know why he felt justified in his comments. Does he really think he has more rights on the road than I do when I'm on my bike (I drive as well)? Can he explain why, if he felt I was too far out, did he continue to overtake in the face of oncoming traffic? Surely he realised that this would be a risk to me. And does he agree that a cyclist, not having a protective cage around them, should be afforded greater care when he is driving in their vicinity?

Thank you for your time in this matter. I look forward to your reply.

Best regards

Dr David Brennan

1 comment:

  1. The sooner that the regulation and licensing of taxis, and for that matter the burgeoning number of small vans delivering online purchases, is consolidated under an independent regulator, with the other commercial users of the road the better. By that I mean that instead of individual councils each with individual licensing conditions and no clear detachment from the risk of 'influence' by the operators being regulated, we put all taxi licensing under the oversight of DVSA and the Traffic Commissioner (you've met her and I think you can see that she won't stand any nonsense).

    This would also deal with your other betes noir, the sub 7.5T GVW vans delivering for supermarkets where the drivers don't need to hold a class C licence, and the rigorous maintaining of driver's records by a named Transport Manager with a CPC qualification is not a mandatory requirement.