Cyclist and bus driver's view of using London's roads
- 13 November 2013
- From the section London
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?
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.
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.
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.