CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Questions/Support/Help

The good news is, I'm not dead - next steps?

(25 posts)
  • Started 9 years ago by kaputnik
  • Latest reply from Kirst
  • This topic is resolved

  1. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Good afternoon bike-ists.

    Scenario - I'm cycling up the mound. I'm on the single speed, so I'm watching the light at the intersection with Bank Street and Market street intently and hoping I won't have to stop at a red for a hill start. It stays green. I carry on cycling. Lothian Buses #41 service coming down Bank Street to turn right onto Market Street looks awfully like it's driving straight at me. It is. It doesn't even try and stop. I manage to somehow get myself out of it's way and avoid disaster by mere fractions of an inch as rather horrified pedestrians look on. Bus stops round the corner. Bus driver proceeds to tell me that I must have come through a red light, it's all my fault. I give the bus driver a small piece of my mind and remind him that I went through a green and regardless you don't just drive at someone and expect them to get out of the way. Bus drives off. I get off bike to give my heart a chance to start beating again and check to see if I've soiled myself. Fortunately I hadn't. A number of onlookers stop and check if I'm OK. 2 friendly tourists who had just got off the bus in question say they didn't like the driver either, he seemed to be in a hurry and they thought he had jumped a few lights. A local punter comes across the street and informs me that what he saw was "f*cking criminal" and that he thinks the bus went through the red light and will be happy to give a statement. Mobile numbers are exchanged and I get the time off of the couple. Now that I'd managed to gather my thoughts and thinking I should report it, I follow the #41 bus route and catch up with the bus on Prices St and manage to get the fleet number.

    Mindful that all Lothian Buses have a small army of CCTV cameras, I went straight to Torphicen St Police station to report it and have got myself a reference number. The clerk informs me that as no contact was made and there was no accident that they will have to proceed on the basis that the bus may have jumped the light.

    So my question is, does anyone have any experience of reporting a (narrowly avoided) accident. Is there anything else I need to / should do? I'll be writing to Lothian Buses regardless but will wait to see what the Police say first (if anything).

    Any advice would be gratefully received and you'll be glad to hear that this hasn't dented my enthusiasm for cycling at all - and a nice old Gentleman at the tram on Prices St. complemented me on having the best looking bike he's seen all year thereby making a crap day much better :-)

    Posted 9 years ago #
  2. chdot
    Admin

    Generally LB drivers are very good.

    More importantly (for you) the company is good at dealing with such incidents - quite quickly.

    Is there a right filter there?

    When The Mound was completely shut drivers had a problem understanding that traffic was still allowed to come up from the Galleries.

    I had a similar problem with a Range Rover.

    The bus driver had no excuse.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  3. gembo
    Member

    LRT will deal with the driver when you report it to them

    glad you are not Kaput Nik

    Posted 9 years ago #
  4. LaidBack
    Member

    kaputnik Vehicle number, service number and direction and time of incident are enough for the inspector to get a fix on this 'about to be re-trained' driver.

    From previous experience the CCTV camera will vindicate your story.

    I know the senario exactly as when Mound was closed everything tailgated each other doing the right turn regardless of oncoming traffic or pedestrain* phases on the lights.

    Now it is open again I can't understand the actions of this driver.

    If you had gone through red light (which you didn't) so must he.

    You are an uphill vehicle going straight on. He is downhill changing direction and must ensure his path is clear before making the turn - regardless of traffic signals (ie if a pedestrian was crossing on a red man he has no right to endanger them additionally).

    Even someone that does run a red light should not have a public service vehicle used as a weapon against them. You went through on green so you have good case to get him re-trained which should be a good thing for all.

    Police won't take action but LRT will. Glad you are ok.

    * new word

    Posted 9 years ago #
  5. kaputnik
    Moderator

    thanks chaps. There are no filters there on the mound - just 3 aspect signals. On looking on google streetview it has also occurred to me that (unless the setup has changed since the googlemobile passed through) the lights control the pedestrian crossings, and not the junction. I'm going to take a trip over tomorrow and check this out and watch the signal actually check the signal sequence to see if it's possible that both sets of lights can be green (which would further invalidate the "professional driver's" point of view). Letter will be printed at work on Monday and posted.

    Oh, and the 87-year old I was having a blether about bikes with (I now know the difference between BSA and a Strumney Archer 3-speed hubs) informs me that BSA infact stands for Bloody Sore Arse.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  6. chdot
    Admin

    "BSA infact stands for"

    something even more surprising.

    "Strumney Archer" indeed!

    Posted 9 years ago #
  7. kaputnik
    Moderator

    my bad on the spelling. Apparently when the cable snaps on the hub gear, the BSA will drop into low gear, but the *Sturmey goes into high. So living in hilly Lancashire he had the BSA in case of cable snaps.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  8. chdot
    Admin

    "the BSA will drop into low gear, but the *Sturmey goes into high"

    Had forgotten about that.

    Took one to bits once. More complicated than the standard SA AW and parts weren't available so couldn't fix it.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  9. kaputnik
    Moderator

    nice chap who had been out for a gander at the tram that's been abandoned on Princes Street, reaffirmed my faith in humanity.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  10. chdot
    Admin

    NOT the implicated bus.

    Normal traffic lights in both directions, no filter.

    Quite a few vehicles turned (right) into Market Street after the lights had gone to red.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  11. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Yes it wasn't that one, the one in question had an extra deck of horrified tourists on top of it!

    Letter posted. Even proofread twice to extricate most of the sarcasm in it and complimented them on the (usually) high standards of their drivers!

    Posted 9 years ago #
  12. Dave
    Member

    I recently had to write to them over a not entirely disimilar complaint, in fact it's up here (with their response) somewhere. I just can't find it!

    On the face of it they seem quite good at looking through the CCTV and being straight about what they find.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  13. wee folding bike
    Member

    I think SA used to drop into low in the early 20th C but they changed the design.

    My Cyclo Benelux would go to its bottom gear if the cable snapped whereas a modern parallelogram doesn't. I can't think of anything else I liked about the Benelux.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  14. wee folding bike
    Member

    Found it.

    http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~hadland/elegy.htm

    Before 1922 if a cable broke on a S-A hub it was locked in low (Hadland, 1987, p.74). Under Frank Bowden they redesigned it in 1922 so if the cable broke the hub was stuck in high. They brought out the "no gear" position in 1937 because it was cheaper to make.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  15. cb
    Member

    It's not a great junction for buses to be turning at really. Going uphill the turn is tight and the bus will often overhand the pavement. Unfortunately this is a busy ped crossing and one where red-man-waiting pedestrians often seem to stand half off the pavement.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  16. kaputnik
    Moderator

    @cb - and like any junction in proximity to the Royal Mile of Tatshops, it's chock full of otherwise preoccupied tourists.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  17. kaputnik
    Moderator

    RESULT

    Manager of central depot, Lothian Buses just off the phone to me.

    Very apologetic, quote "cannot defend the actions of my driver, I am sorry you had to suffer that poor standard of driving". Very civil conversation, my letter corroberated by their CCTV footage to the letter. It is clear I came through green light as it could be seen that the pedestrian crossing was still red as I went through it. He doesn't appear to have jumped the lights and if he did he would have gotten a final written warning. He's even on camera rolling down his window to yell at me. Driver will be discplined (weren't willing to divulge details beyond mention of re-education or something similar.)

    I'm satisfied with LB's response and glad they had the decency to phone for a chat and to apologies in person and I've asked that they drop me a note in writing to confirm - as a trophy :) - which they are going to do.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  18. Min
    Member

    Good stuff. :-)

    Posted 9 years ago #
  19. LaidBack
    Member

    I've asked that they drop me a note in writing to confirm - as a trophy :)

    They'll pass on cost no doubt. Another 10p on bus fares!

    Seriously though that's a good reply - worries me though that some drivers think they can get away with it...

    In certain circumstances CCTV cameras aren't a deterent

    Posted 9 years ago #
  20. chdot
    Admin

    Good.

    If only all companies...

    I'm sure on one level Lothian Buses would prefer it if such incidents weren't discussed 'in public', but it happened in public and the resolution outlined above is clearly to it's credit.

    This wouldn't have happened unless a) someone took the trouble to complain b) LB took it seriously and has procedures to deal with problems.

    On board cameras help too! They are also there to improve passenger ( and driver) safety.

    Driving a bus through Edinburgh is certainly not the easiest job. It's not just cyclists that drivers have to keep their eyes on! And then there are the passengers to deal with. Especially at this time of year - some don't speak much English and perhaps expect change!

    Quite a few LB drivers cycle to work which obviously helps 'us'. 'We' can help by being aware of the fact they are driving large vehicles with imperfect all round visibility and many things to keep an eye on.

    Having an idea of where they are likely to turn, stop and start is mutually beneficial.

    So impede them as little as possible - there are bound to be times that you are in front and they can't pass, some drivers still come too close.

    LB drivers at stops are usually good about letting bikes complete overtaking before moving off (they look in the mirror, signal and wait), a quick thumbs up shows you recognise/appreciate this.

    If there's a problem it's good to be able to have confidence that a complaint will be dealt with carefully.

    (As has been said here several times, LB has good driver training, which includes bike awareness.)

    Posted 9 years ago #
  21. Rabid Hamster
    Member

    A week ago I caught a EBC bear trap SPD pedal whilst extreme cornering commute on the speed bump East Preston into Oxford St - trashed the cage bit!
    So...
    Put fancy new Shimano pedals (exBW-good price) on Cuillin Pro on Sat and forgot to then slacken/adjust them at SPDs!; fell off at Ravelston Dykes/Queensferry Terr lights this morning (surprised you didn't hear the 'f'f's!) nearly roadkilled by a Cooncil van, then fell off again at George St ped crossing... more 'f'fs' and shocked female pedestrian... Its OK hen, this is becoming a habit and I'm a twat! Not a Lothian bus in sight to blame my crass stupidity on! However George St has ample CCTV so I might be on UTube tonight as the Man who Fell to Earth Whilst Stationary! Hope they got my good side! Think I need stabilisers!
    Getting treatment from the Savlon Tube on the left elbow and knee... at least I'm consistent!
    I personally know an LB driver who wouldn't hurt a fly either! Most are good folk and trying to get around City safely too! CCTV on buses is good idea, and mibbe they should have Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) as well!

    Posted 9 years ago #
  22. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Couldn't agree more chdot. It works both ways and every day I see cyclists do things that make me whince (often appear to be more through naivety rather than stupidity).

    I'll say again I think they couldn't really have handled this situation better - complainy cyclist writes complainy letter and within a week there's a personal phone call to apologise. I made the point on the phone (as I did in the letter) that they have are held in generally high regard by "us lot" and that the way they handled this is the sort of thing that maintains this.

    And I don't envy anyone who has to manhandle a 15 ton monster (since when did buses get so big?) through the streets of Edinburgh.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  23. chdot
    Admin

    "You can nominate your driver or bus service for the annual Ecas Happy to Help award now by letting Ecas know"

    http://www.lothianbuses.com/more-info/news/general-news/414-is-your-driver-happy-to-help.html

    Posted 9 years ago #
  24. Dave
    Member

    I think it would be almost impossible to single out any part of Lothian Buses really, they rock.

    It's only when you spend time outside of Edinburgh exposed to the drivers of certain other services (who shall remain nameless but in my case, may begin with "St" and end in "agecoach") that you realise what an incredibly good job they do.

    That doesn't mean that they are perfect - cf. my own little red light jumping bus driver incident - but considering that I cycle past at least 30 buses a day with no bother, yet I'd have to pass 2 or 3 in Fife and have twenty times the near misses...

    I've thought from time to time that it might be nice to send round a bucketload of chocolates (or something).

    Posted 9 years ago #
  25. Kirst
    Member

    I've sometimes thought about making a couple of batches of muffins and taking them down to the Annandale Street building as a thank you (and bribe).

    Posted 9 years ago #

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