Friday 19 March 2010

The British Heart Foundation and cycling

Get cycling to look after your heart and raise vital funds to support our life-saving work.

We have a wide range of rides all over the UK, from our famous London to Brighton event to 100 mile mountain bike rides and local family bike rides.

By taking part you can make a difference and
help us continue our pioneering research work.

Oh yeah?

Extract from a letter emailed to the British Heart Foundation on 8 March:

I have a complaint about the driver of a British Heart Foundation white van, who I had the misfortune to encounter while riding my bicycle this morning in Walthamstow.

The registration number of the van is FV07 YHW (or something close to that). The driver is a white male.

I was cycling along Westbury Road E17 this morning at 11.35 am. This is a narrow road with vehicles parked on both sides. There isn’t room for a van and a bike to pass. As I entered the road heading towards the High Street I encountered a white van coming towards me. I pulled into a gap and let it pass. Then I went on, with the right of way.

As I cycled along the road I could see the British Heart Foundation van turning at the junction with Gillards Way. Even though I had the right of way the driver chose to enter this narrow road and drive at me head on, forcing me to a halt. As his window was down I said ironically “Thank you for waiting for me.” His reply was to scream “FUCK OFF!”

His driving was discourteous and inconsiderate and his manner unnecessarily abusive. I have no idea whether or not this driver is a volunteer or a paid employee, but I don’t think he is fit to continue driving this van until he has learned how to behave with cyclists, i.e. we are equal road users and when we have the right of way a van should not be used as a bully’s weapon.

The British Heart Foundation has not bothered to respond to this complaint. It wants cyclists to support the organisation’s fund raising but it shows no interest in how the drivers of its vehicles behave to cyclists.