Cyclist and bus driver's view of using London's roads

Cyclist between two buses in London Cycling in the capital has almost trebled in the past decade

Related Stories

Four cyclists have been killed in London in eight days.

With the number of cyclists in the capital almost trebling in a decade, what is it like running the gauntlet of the capital's roads each day for a cyclist and a bus driver?

The cyclist

Ed Davey, 30, a BBC journalist, cycles in London daily.

You have to put the risk of death to the back of your mind - or you would definitely go mad.

Given the vast number of cyclists, your chance of becoming one of the few annual fatalities is actually tiny. And you can halve it by being super-aware of lorries turning left.

Start Quote

It's especially grim cycling past places where you know people have lost their lives”

End Quote Ed Davey Cyclist

Not finding yourself on the left side of a lorry as it turns after moving off is something in every cyclist's power. Alarm bells should be ringing every time you see a lorry waiting at a red - even if it's not indicating, because the driver might simply have forgotten.

But bad drivers are beyond your control. Last year a lorry went past me so fast and so close, the air nearly buffeted me off my bike. It's especially grim cycling past places where you know people have lost their lives, often more than one person. Old Street roundabout. Bow roundabout.

Strangely, though, I worry much more about my loved ones on bikes in London than I do myself. I'm able to think about my own potential death in the abstract, but I worry myself sick about friends and family.

That said, when my bike's off the road and I'm forced to get buses or the Tube, I realise there is no alternative. Cycling really is the best way to get about London.

The bus driver

Jason Rumsey, 45, has driven seven London bus routes for 18 months.

As a bus driver, you've got so much to deal with. We've got CCTV cameras, passengers, other road users. We're under a lot of pressure and get a lot of stick from drivers. We have to stick to a tight time schedule.

Sometimes I can have up to 10 cyclists around me. I can be in a bus lane and have them in front, behind and on each side of me.

Start Quote

If you hit someone they are dead. You haven't even got to hit them hard”

End Quote Jason Rumsey Bus driver

A lot of bus drivers hate cyclists because they slow them up and they get in their way. Personally, I always give them plenty of space. It can be difficult at times.

Sometimes young ones ride in front of me without holding their handlebars. I had two the other day in Harrow Road. They wouldn't pull over to the side.

The bikes that really get up my nose are the Boris bikes because they are not regular bike riders. Usually they have no head protection and they don't know how to ride them.

It's all about attitude. I don't get angry with cyclists. I give them space - I'm aware. I'm driving a 12-tonne vehicle. If you hit someone they are dead. You haven't even got to hit them hard.

More on This Story

Related Stories

BBC London

Weather

London

20 °C 13 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    Moody 'set to resign' 12:37:

    Iain Moody is set to resign as Crystal Palace sporting director in the wake of allegations about racist, sexist and homophobic texts shared with his former colleague Malky Mackay, reports BBC Sport.

     
  2.  
    On air 12:27: Robert Elms Presenter, BBC London 94.9

    On today's show, the band behind Otis Redding, Booker T & the MGs, Muddy Waters, and Sam & Dave will perform live.

    Muddy Waters The band behind Muddy Waters will be performing live

    And Tony Fletcher, the author of music biographies including Keith Moon and REM talks about his new book, which documents his own love affair with music.

     
  3.  
    'London' jihadist hunted for 12:15:

    Police and security sources are hunting for a jihadist - believed to be from London or the South East - who appeared in footage of the killing of US journalist James Foley.

    The Guardian reports the man was thought to be the leader of a group of British fighters based in Syria, and that he called himself "John".

     
  4.  
    Ward progresses in US Open 12:05:

    Britain's number two tennis player, Londoner James Ward, has made it through to the second round of qualifying for the US Open.

    James Ward

    BBC Sport says the 27-year-old is at a career-high 131 ranking and will be looking to make his first US Open main draw.

     
  5.  
    News on the hour 11:55: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The United Arab Emirates' foreign ministry has released a map advising its citizens to avoid areas of London it claims are too dangerous because of fraud, theft and pickpocketing.

    Find out what areas have been highlighted in the 1200 bulletin.

     
  6.  
    Vandals fell trees 11:44:

    Police patrols have been stepped up in a park after vandals cut down 13 trees, reports the Evening Standard.

    The 15ft conifers were all felled during a single night in Enfield Town Park in north London. Eleven of them had been planted in a circle around a memorial bench.

     
  7.  
    Card fraudsters jailed 11:29:

    A gang of Romanian fraudsters have been jailed for stealing an estimated £16m-worth of bank card details from more than 60,000 people in the UK and abroad.

    The gang, three men and a woman, were involved in three stages of fraud - scamming bank card data from ATMs, downloading it on to a computer and then copying the details on to counterfeit plastic cards.

    They were jailed for between 21 and 64 months.

     
  8.  
    Winehouse statue 11:17:

    A life-sized statue of Amy Winehouse is to be unveiled on her birthday.

    Maquette of Amy Winehouse statue

    The bronze figure will be placed in the Stables Market.

     
  9.  
    Travel 11:03:

    There are severe delays on the Jubilee Line following an earlier signal failure at Swiss Cottage.

    Keep an eye on @jubileeline for updates.

     
  10.  
    News on the hour 10:55: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    Londoners are being described as the least happy people in the UK - despite us having the strongest economy and the best wages.

    Edward Lister, deputy mayor for planning and policy, gives his views in the 11:00 bulletin.

     
  11.  
    Road deaths 10:43:

    Road safety in London is an important issue, particularly as the mayor's office is currently looking at improving the roads to make it safer for cyclists.

    But how many people have died on the capital's roads?

    Road death map

    Search your area and find out with this interactive map by BBC News.

     
  12.  
    London happiness 10:26:

    Although London has the strongest economy in the UK and pays the best wages, people are still not happy.

    A report for the London Assembly shows the unhappiest in the capital are those earning less than a £100 per week. But those paid over £4,000 a month had anxiety scores higher than people living elsewhere in the country

     
  13.  
    Violent offences on trains 10:12:

    There has been a big rise in violent offences on the London Underground and the Docklands Light Railway, figures from British Transport Police show.

    Cases of violence against the person rose 9.5%, from 1,897 in 2012-13 to 2,077.

     
  14.  
    News on the hour 09:57: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    Our top story this hour: Police and the intelligence services are trying to identify the suspected British Islamic fighter who murdered an American journalist.

    Hear the views of former Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Sir Iqbal Sacranie, on the current approach to preventing extremism, in the 1000 bulletin.

     
  15.  
    Couple rescued 09:50:

    A couple from London have been rescued after they were stranded on a north Wales island.

    Couple being rescued

    The pair became marooned on Ballast Island, Gwynedd, yesterday at about 17:00.

     
  16.  
    Third defeat for Fulham 09:41:

    Fulham suffered a third straight defeat since being relegated from the Premier League after Bakary Sako's goal earned Wolves victory at Craven Cottage.

    Sako struck after the Cottagers failed to deal with a first-half corner - the former France Under-21 international firing into the bottom corner.

     
  17.  
    Fly-tipping in Croydon 09:31:

    Travellers have left a "colossal" amount of fly-tipping on a third Croydon playing field in less than a fortnight, claims the Croydon Advertiser.

     
  18.  
    Olympics' architect to get honorary degree 09:20:

    Award-winning architect Dame Zaha Hadid is to receive an Honorary Degree from Goldsmiths, University of London in September.

    Dame Zaha designed the Aquatics Centre at the London 2012 Olympics site.

     
  19.  
    Hospital 'must improve' 09:09:

    Emergency and end-of-life care need to be improved at the North Middlesex University Hospital, the Care Quality Commission has said.

    North Middlesex University Hospital North Middlesex University Hospital will be unable to get foundation status until its grade improves

    It rated the hospital as "requires improvement" but praised its surgery, children's and maternity care. The hospital's trust welcomed the report, saying it had just been through a period of "massive change".

     
  20.  
    News on the hour 08:58: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    Figures released today show violent offences committed on the London Tube and the DLR has gone up almost 10% compared to a year ago.

    British Transport Police Chief Constable Paul Crowther gives his verdict in the 0900 bulletin.

     
  21.  
    On air 08:49: Vanessa Feltz Presenter, BBC London 94.9

    The United States says it tried and failed to rescue the murdered American journalist James Foley. British intelligence services are working to identify his killer, who spoke with an English accent.

    I'll have more from 09:00.

     
  22.  
    Crystal Palace successor 08:40:

    Malky Mackay is no longer in contention to succeed Tony Pulis as Crystal Palace boss after misconduct allegations were made by his former club, Cardiff City.

    Malky Mackay Malky Mackay is out of contention after misconduct allegations

    The Welsh club have sent a dossier to the Football Association outlining their claims against the Scot.

     
  23.  
    Signal failures 08:32:

    There are severe delays on London Overground on routes to Stratford, Richmond and Clapham Junction because of an earlier signal failure at Gunnersbury.

    There are problems on the Tube too following a signal failure at Rayners Lane. Piccadilly Line has minor delays between Acton Town and Uxbridge while the Metropolitan Line also has minor delays between Harrow on the Hill and Uxbridge.

     
  24.  
    Roads closed 08:23:

    In Southall, the A4020 Uxbridge Road remains closed between Woodlands Road and Townsend Road while police investigate a fatal stabbing.

    In the A503 Seven Sisters Road remains closed southbound from St Ann's Road to Amhurst Park for ongoing repairs to a water main. Get the latest travel information on BBC London Travel News or on Twitter @BBCTravelAlert.

     
  25.  
    Top stories
     
  26.  
    Dry and cool day 08:09:

    A fine, dry and cool start to the day, with plenty of sunshine.

    But cloud will push in from the north-west during the afternoon and evening with the possibility of the odd shower tonight. Highs of 19C (66F).

    BBC London weather
     
  27.  
    08:00: Rebecca Cafe BBC News

    Good morning, I'll be bringing you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather from London today for BBC Local Live.

    You can also send your news, pictures and comments to locallive@bbc.co.uk.

     

Features

  • Baby being handed overFraught world

    The legal confusion over UK surrogate births


  • Bad resultsBlame game

    The best excuses to use when exam results don't make the grade


  • Welsh flagDragon's den

    Why Wales will make its own mind up on independence


  • BKS IyengarFlexible guru

    The man who helped bring yoga to the West


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.