Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Altercation with a van - driver suddenly goes mute

I had a bit of a tricky situation on my way home yesterday. There's a bit of road - for those of you who may know London a bit - which comes down past the Brunswick Centre in Russell Square - it's called Bernard Street. To get into Grenville Street at the bottom, you have to go right, which is normally fine. But another road filters into Grenville Street too from the opposite direction. Now in theory this is fine too because the traffic coming the other way has a give-way dotted line - so you have the priority from Bernard Street.

Van rude

Anyway, I was doing my stuff, when I saw a green van taking the other road. Somehow I could sense that the driver was not paying any attention to traffic coming from the other direction and I immediately suspected he would not give way. Sure enough, totally ignoring the give way markings and not even noticing that there was a cyclist coming into the same road with the right of way, he ploughed on.

Right to silence?

Luckily I'd slowed down enough to avoid a collision. I fear that a less savvy cyclist might have been hit. Anyway, he had his window open, so I asked him if he'd seen the give way markings. Silence, staring straight ahead. I asked again. Silence. It was almost comical, but infuriating. I suppose he was so used to "bloody cyclists" berating him or "getting in the way" that he simply didn't care. Another more sinister explanation, which I only thought of later, was that he was completely stoned and didn't really know what he was doing. He looked the type.

Anyway, I had to cycle off, muttering about how dangerous he was.

Vicious circle

Just another motorist/cyclist contretemps in London - there are probably hundreds every day. Maybe he's learnt something. Maybe not. I have. Look upon cars or vans with the utmost suspicion - it's highly likely they won't do what they're meant to do.  Sadly, as my wife pointed out last night, the same could be said of a large number of cyclists, so this vicious circle is likely to continue. What do we need everyone? Karma, that's right!

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