Cycling campaigners have said that they are “exasperated” at the amount of reports they have received of “bullying and intimidation” by Dublin Bus drivers directed towards people cycling bicycles.
Dublin Cycling Campaign asked on Twitter: “Hi @dublinbusnews, we’re getting exasperated at the amount of reports we’re receiving of bullying and intimidation by your drivers. Why are so many of your employees acting aggressively towards people on bikes?”
Responding to a request for comment on what cycling campaigners said and to a sample number of videos (below), a spokesperson for Dublin Bus said: “Dublin Bus examines any incidents or issues of concern raised through our customer experience channels – eg social media, email or customer service line. All complaints and incidents reported to Dublin Bus are taken very seriously and investigated thoroughly as per the Dublin Bus Customer Charter and internal procedures. If a breach is found, appropriate action is taken internally.”
“Cyclist safety is of paramount importance to Dublin Bus and has always formed part of our driver training process . Drivers receive comprehensive classroom and on-bus training as part of their initial induction programme with Dublin Bus. This includes a strong focus on vulnerable road users, including cyclists. In addition to this, Dublin Bus has recently integrated innovative VR technology to simulate the cycling experience in order to deliver a better understanding of the challenges faced by cyclists into our driver training programme. The issue of cyclist safety is also dealt with comprehensively as part of mandatory refresher training for all drivers on a 2-yearly basis,” the company said.
The Dublin Bus spokesperson added: “We also launched a training video to further increase driver awareness around cyclist safety. This video is a key component of our driver training programme and helps create a better understanding of cyclist behaviour in an urban environment and ensures our drivers are better equipped in dealing with various scenarios as they arise.”
Here’s some recent examples of Dublin Bus drivers behaving poorly around people cycling:
3. I have to cross the Luas tracks at an angle
4. I have to slow down (a little bit) to do so
5. I delayed him by max. 2 seconds AND HE WAS PULLING INTO THE STOP ANYWAY
6. Making a w**ker gesture at a member of the public is very unprofessional
7. I have it all on camera
— Dermot (@OnlyOneMUFC) February 25, 2020
Other recent videos shared on Twitter include:
@dublincycling thread /1 I've had the opportunity to cycle to school with the kids a few times over the last couple of weeks. Everyday, there's some other inconsiderate motorist, endangering lives. I think we can all agree this constitutes a close pass by the @dublinbusnews …. pic.twitter.com/e7FNSQT1S4
— Paul Reilly (@Paul1980Reilly) December 20, 2019
On my way home from a @dublincycling meeting and had the joy of two close passes from @dublinbusnews No. 37 in Stoneybatter. First he overtook me and pulled in sharply in front of me, forcing me out of the lane. He then did a punishment pass a few seconds later. Why risk my life? pic.twitter.com/RpAJgThdS3
— Suzanne (@Dublin_Suzy) January 6, 2020
Hey, @dublinbusnews, it'd be great if your driver would've showed a bit more patience. Didn't really fancy getting crushed today. Thanks.#bikelife @dublincycling #cycling #MGIF #pointless #Dublin pic.twitter.com/c9Dfa64PT5
— Hugh PhD (@HughManning) February 19, 2020
These are just examples, there’s other examples that we’ve been told about or have found recently where the person cycling did not have video or did not share it online, and examples of bus passengers giving out about the way bus drivers were driving around cyclists.
But is this sort of driving typical or atypical from Dublin Bus drivers?
Opinion seems to be at least somewhat divided on this and the question about how often it happens.
Responding to one of the examples above, the Twitter account of sports cycling website Sticky Bottle said: “Speaking from my own commuting experience; I think more bus drivers are more aware than ever of the need to pass cyclists safely, give a bit of space. But there’s still a very significant number whose driving hasn’t changed at all.”
On how often it happens that bus drivers pull sharply to bus stop in front of cyclists, one Twitter user Alan O’Riordan said: “It happens all day, every day. Literally every time I cycle. I’ve had to take to the footpath several times to avoid certain death. No exaggeration. (And yes, I get cyclists are often in the wrong re buses, but do we rlly have to say that EVERY time we mention cycling?).”
Responding to the first example above, another Twitter user, Eoin Fitzpatrick said: “Dublin Bus have the most dangerous drivers on the road if you ask me.” The poster of the video, Dermot, replied: “Thankfully, that is not my experience. I find most DB drivers very considerate. That gowl this morning was an exception.”
I have witnessed a good number of such incidences over the years. The ones shown in the video clips are quite representative. Following a small number of incidences I have experienced I have gotten the impression that it is a cultural thing which seems all too acceptable by the drivers themselves. Bus Company management from the various companies may of a mind that they are addressing road safety but there is a disconnect between what is intended and what is actually happening on the ground. There is an obvious lack of understanding by the drivers concerned of how dangerous such bad is or how life threatening it is. Maybe some Managers should take a spin on a bike during rush hour and see what is actually going on at street level.
Cyclist.ie has long held the view that the RSA driving instruction syllabus for all bus, coach and taxi drivers should have a on-road practical element where the candidate driver has to cycle out in urban traffic so as to have experiential understanding of vulnerability.
Go directly to the Guards with this evidence.
Lodging complaints with a state run bus company is folly.
Just had a bus driver nearly drive me off the road. Its terrifying and awful when this happens. They are the one road user a cyclist expects to be treated with some respect and dignity and yet show the least regard for cyclist. I was so shaken by the experience I am tempted to report it to the guards. This type of driving from busses with whom cyclist are expected to share a lane with is completely unacceptable.