Friday, 14 August 2015

My Letter to Asda

Dear Mr Clarke,

Unfortunately I am writing to you with regards to the driving of one of your HGV drivers. Let me explain.

I am a cyclist, that is I cycle from my home in Torrance to my work at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow (recently renamed
Queen Elizabeth University Hospital). It is a 11 mile cycle each way. Sometimes on my way I encounter poor driving that puts me at significant risk. I therefore wear cameras to provide proof in case of any incidents. On Thursday (13th August 2015) I had the day off. However, as a cyclist who campaigns for safer roads via a blog ( and via a campaign I help to run (, on this occasion I was cycling along my normal commuting route heading to a cycle campaign meeting in Milngavie. This meeting was with local council officials and representatives of other cycle organisations to discuss some local cycle infrastructure. Thus I was cycling along Balmore Road at approximately 10:15am (13th August 2015).

It is along this road that I encountered one of your drivers. Rather than describe the incident I will provide you with some video of it from my helmet camera and my rear view camera. (


As you will see from the footage I was quite shocked by what was a terrible overtake. Driving of this standard is not acceptable from a car driver, never mind an HGV driver where the consequences are potentially more severe.

You are probably not aware, but very recently British Cycling has just released a video describing the issues surrounding cyclists and overtaking. It is well worth a look ( 

Would you consider sharing this with your workforce?

Obviously the overtake in this case was well below the standard expected of a competent driver. Please could you investigate this issue, and do everything in your power to ensure that driving like this doesn't occur again.

Your sincerely,

Dr David Brennan


  1. This is all good, but it might be worth specifically adding an enquiry about their drivers' scheduling. I have been told in the past that some courier companies pay by the drop, which effectively means their drivers are on piece rates. Even if the driver is being paid by the hour, an unreasonably overloaded schedule, backed by "management targets" would have a similar effect.
    Strike at the root!

  2. Hi David,
    That is probably the most discomposed I've ever heard you on one of your videos and I'm not surprised. Any movement from you to avoid glass or a pothole and you would almost certainly have been killed.
    One other thing is noticeable from the video - all the car drivers overtake correctly and safely.
    Maybe you're starting to have an effect. Keep up the good work.

  3. Good stuff..I had a recent incounter with a small works van that passed me dangerously a few times so i emailed the company that was plastered along the side of the van to which i got a reply of an apology and that they would be having a word with said driver low and behold everytime he had past me in the morning,it has been a perfect power of the Internet. ..

  4. It won't come as much of a consolation, but it was an Asda HGV motorist who actually crashed into the door mirror of my motor car in one of their half-arsed overtakes at considerable speed. That was even more terrifying than the Tesco HGV motorist who came fish-tailing past me off the M1 as I rode along the A414 down South---and that one in turn seemed even closer, at nearest point, than the one in your video! I think it's fair to assume that all these supermarket HGV motorists are zonked off their faces on amphetamines to counteract severe sleep deprivation and operating illegally and dangerously overloaded rigs as a matter of routine---and that their employers couldn't give a %$^*, as long as the deliveries are cheap and quick.