PJ Brown – Do they care?

You’ll have to bear with me if this comes out in a bit of a mess but I’m rather irritated at the moment…

Last Friday, 20th January, I was cycling to a training course down in Kenley and heading down the Purley Way when this happened:

Not the best of starts to the day. I edited out the footage, uploaded it to Youtube on the Saturday

Sevening they penned out an e-mail to PJ Brown on the Sunday morning:


I would like to make a serious complaint about one of your drivers I encountered on the morning of 20/1/12 whilst cycling to work.

At approximately 8:30 I was headed southbound on Purley Way in Croydon when the driver of one of your lorries with registration GK08 PGU performed a very unsafe pass on myself, barely leaving me any room.

When I caught up with the driver with the driver at the next set of traffic lights a few hundred yards up the road and gestured my disapproval of his poor driving the driver then pulled forward into the bike box (therefore jumping the red light as he passed his stop line) and shouted ouf the his cabin window, calling me “maggot” and complaining I was riding too far out from the kerb.

At the time of the pass I was travelling on a slight downhill section at around 30mph (it’s a 40mph limit) about 3-4′ from the kerb in what is known as “primary” position and it taught by Bikeability and the IAM as  a safe position to use when either approaching pinch points or when overtaking by a motor vehicle would place the rider in danger. Having had the HGV before your one do a very close pass just before a traffic island I was trying to be more cautious.

Highway code rule 163 gives a very clear description and picture of how much room a cyclists should be given when overtaking and in all honesty I’d expect more from such a large vehicle due to the wind buffeting.

The incident was caught on my helmet camera and can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/4oPB-ZUrgnQ.

Just so you are aware I will also be contacting Advance Fuels to complain about their drivers behaviour also, however I believe your drivers apparent lack of respect for my safety and his attitude at the lights ahead warrant some looking into and I look forward to hearing back on how this matter is being dealt with. I have had a look over the Health and Safety policy on your website and believe this driver is in breach of a few clauses with regards to respecting the safety of the public, given the high proportion of HGV’s involved in cyclist accidents and fatalities and don’t believe this sort of driving is an anyway acceptable.

Thank you

I got a response from there this morning:
Good Morning,I have read your complaint reference our Driver and the advance fuel
vehicle. The road narrows to a singular track where these two incidents
took place and vehicles are not to cross the chevron area.
Your footage does not show the distance you are away from the kerb and
our driver states you were a lot further from the kerb than you have
stated. My driver did not jump any red light but only moved forward to
acknowledge yourself. Admittedly he called you a ‘maggot’ but you had
created a new era of ‘cycle rage’ gesturing and a vile torrid of abuse
to other road users. You also enticed trouble at the traffic lights.


<name removed>
Plant & Transport Manager

Nice eh? Seems from reading this they think the drivers actions where reasonable and could only be expected with my “cycle rage” and I enticed trouble at the lights….
Not much I could do asides from a new reply to summarize my feelings on the matter:

Thank you for the response. I’m guessing you haven’t actually looked at the section of the Highway code that I mentioned that demonstrates the safe distance to pass a cyclist? If so you can clearly see both the drivers in this case failed to give me adequate space.
I also believe my footage gives a fairly good representation of the distance I was riding out from the kerb, cyclist are NOT required to hug the gutter. As a commenter on the video stated the consequences of striking the kerb would have resulted in a crash.
As for my reaction at the lights I’d put that down to the adrenaline from having 2 rather large vehicles coming past at extremely close quarters. The mere fact that neither hit me doesn’t make them “safe”.
Anyway I’m guessing from this response no further action will be taken with this “driver” so I will now be forwarding a copy of the video to the Met Polices Roadsafe unit and see what they think about it.
Thank you
I’ve just finished the Roadsafe submission so can only hope they’ll take it a bit more seriously then then PJ Brown, who like most construction companies have a nice shiny PDF on their website detailing their “health and safety” policy….which apparently can be ignored when it suits them!
I’m not going to let this one rest. Given the number of cyclists killed by HGV’s (and this isn’t even central London!) I don’t think driving like that shown by either of those in the clip is in anyway acceptable!
So what are your thoughts; Was I riding too far out? Where they safe passes and did I “over-react” at the end?
I have also contacted Advance Fuels and await their response….
Check here to see the response I got from the MD after my MP wrote to them.



63 thoughts on “PJ Brown – Do they care?

  1. This is the kind of approach that really winds me up. I was passed so close by a car on Saturday that the wing mirror clipped my handlebards (I was in the left lane of a dual carriageway, the second (overtaking) lane was empty). When I inevitable caught up with him at the traffic lights he said I was riding too far out. The logic here and in the response from PJ Brown’s being that it’s acceptable for the driver to endanger my life because he disagrees with my road position. Absolutely ridiculous.

    Both of the HGV passes amount to reckless endangerment of life. For PJ Brown’s to show such contempt for your complaint is completely unacceptable for a private company that relies on use of the public highways for it’s business. You should see if you can do a bit of digging and get a name of someone a bit higher up in the company to escalate to. In my experience, any Director/CEO worth his/her salt would be appalled by the response.

    • I’m having a dig around on their site now. Just having another look over the H&S document otherwise I’ll try and find Exec details.
      I’ve had similar experiences to the one you describe there myself, caught one on camera a few weeks back where despite a clear 2nd lane and me doing 25mph (in a 30 zone) the driver still edges past barely moving over the whiteline. I then get funny looks as I gesture them to move over a bit!

  2. Yeah, be sure to pass on footage and response to local campaign groups (is there a Croydon Cycling Campaign?), as well as local politicians.

    Those passes would have been too close for cars, but even worse when you’re talking about heavy-duty HGVs.

  3. I suggest you bring this to the attention of the police….. but make sure it’s the Road Policing Unit rather than an average police-officer.

    The RPU’s are more aware of traffic laws and usually more likely to take action.

  4. To the cyclist. With all due respect dont you have anything better to do with your time than cycle with a camera attactched to your helmet, trying to get hard working people into trouble. If you are that concerned slow down & cycle closer to the pavement i cant see the need for you to be four ‘ away from the curb. What right do you have to go round filming people & publishing it on youtube without their consent, isnt that a breach of their human rights. Watching the video you clearly aggrevated the situation using foul & abusive language towards the driver. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • Well as I’m out cycling anyway recording my rides doesn’t waste anytime. Yes it might take a bit of time to edit out the clips and then to try and notify companies about the poor driving of their drivers in the vain hope that they might actually take some action on the driver to make our roads a bit safer.
      Sorry if that’s seen as a waste of time….
      As for my position and speed there was nothing wrong with it…it is after all the duty of the overtaking vehicle to ensure the overtake is completed safely instead of just bullying their way past as these 2 idiots did. The reason I was 4ft out from the kerb was that I was trying to discourage moves like this and as I’m travelling at about 30mph (only 10mph under the limit and you can clearly see how much time the Browns driver saved by overtaking me….).

      As for recording there isn’t any problem with it, it’s recorded in a public place and the vehicle registrations and company details are all publicly identifiable marks.

      As for my reaction at the end, you try remaining calm after narrowly avoiding being knocked off your bike by 2 very large vehicles.

    • Wow, where to start. Curb-hugging is a very dangerous way to ride as it reduces rider visibility, encourages close passes, and provides no leftward escape route in an emergency. This is taught in any cycling safety course or guide. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy when in public, as many a court case in the UK has held, and filming and photographing of people and their property in public is perfectly legal.

    • Drivers like this have killed people. Is that clear?!

      The worst the driver got was a bit of a finger, if he even saw it. It PALES into insignificance compared to his own actions. Fuck his human rights, what about other people’s right to be safe on the road? You’re clearly an idiot.

      Words from the wise. We don’t need your permission to film you in a public place. We don’t need your permission to publish the video online. Doing so is adding to the growing catalogue of evidence about how some people are misbehaving, dangerous or incompetent.

      It is YOU who should be ashamed. Get on the road, ride in traffic and come back and whinge when you’ve experienced life in our shoes.

    • What a disgraceful comment you have made, Rachel. I realise that your attitude is only born of ignorance, but if you wish to comment on issues like this, then you at least need to read up on the subject first. I can’t put it better than Downfader has, but as he says, YOU really should be ashamed of yourself.

    • Is it not a breach of human rights to nearly kill someone with a deadly weapon?

      There is no expectation of privacy in a public place, where as there is the expectation that you won’t get killed.

  5. idiots? its people like you that end up under the fu@king wheels! STAY CLOSER TO THE KERB! AND GET A LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Yes idiots, it’s rather worrying that people who think driving like this around vulnerable roads users are allowed to operate such large vehicles.

      As for my position I have every right to use whichever part of the road I want, riding as I was here is known as the primary position, is the recommended riding position when approaching a pinch point as taught by the government national bike training scheme Bikeability, as well as by being recognised by the Institute of Advanced Motoring.

    • Do you have a reference from a credible guide on road and cycling safety that makes such a claim? I think you’ll find every safety program, course, guide, etc teaches NOT to stay close to the curb. It is not safe. It is the duty of the overtaking vehicle to overtake safely.

    • It is in the government advice to stay AT LEAST a metre away from the kerb when riding at speed. It is advised in several pieces of cycling literature (Cyclecraft, IAM Better Cycling – all government approved standards) to even take primary-position in certain circumstances.

      Yes, idiots. And you are clearly one of them.

      Related to the driver in some capacity are we?

  6. Your reply say’s it all, you sit out that far to stop things like this happening. So in other words you don’t have to ride there, you just done it for a reaction .As a keen cyclist myself, during rush hour i think it best to be aware of other road users, cycle safely, not in the middle of the road, antagonising other road users. its called rush hour for a reason. Furthermore its cyclists like you that give us all a bad name.

    • You’re not a “keen cyclist”. If you were you’d know the training, know the literature, and know how to ride. It is cyclists like you that encourage poor riding practice that compounds injuries and can even lead to death. is that what you want?

    • Excellent….Yes I’m riding out there to prevent drivers passing me to get a reaction. Nothing to do with stopping them overtaking me so I don’t get run over? I’ll more then happily move back over when there is room for a vehicle to pass but when it comes to a narrow point my safety trumps the impatient twat in the car behind me.

      If your such a “keen cyclist” I’d hope you are aware of the need to sometimes ride assertively? If not I’d strongly recommend you head down to your local library or hit Amazon and get yourself a copy of Cyclecraft. That is unless your one of those cyclists who is happy to cycle a few inches out from the kerb and pretend it’s “all ok” as cars give you barely a fag papers worth of clearance. I personally would prefer to ride assertively so I know I’m safe.

  7. say for example you did get caught up under the wheels? do you have a guide course etc to get you out of that 1? I THINK NOT, 4ft out of the kerb aint acceptable, if you where killed all the driver would have to say is you swerved out so keep doing it or just think about what you are doing to those PROFESSIONAL drivers! sad sad people!

    • No I don’t have a guide for that but I’m sure my wife and 6 kids would find some small solice in the fact that the twat driving the lorry couldn’t wait behind me until a safe overtake was possible.

      I personally couldn’t give a shit what I’m doing to these drivers, calling them professional is a joke…..PJ Brown have shown they don’t give a toss and I’m still waiting for a reply from Advance Fuels so I guess that says it all really.

    • Professional drivers do not drive dangerously. Dangerous drivers, however, do go to prison for lying in court about a cyclist swerving in front when they in fact intentionally running them over, once the court see the video evidence.

  8. I think we will have to agree to disagree. At the end of the day you are nothing but a nosher & while i dust off my copy of “cyclecraft” why dont you go and google what a nosher is you’ll find it in the urban online dictionary

    • @peterfu@kingpan

      Pass on over your ADI details. I’ll be sure to notify the DSA about you. Both yourself and Rachel have failed to prove any point other than how very ignorant you both are.

  9. downfader? more like downonyourkneesforsomecock ya prick, you cyclists are a bunch of sad fucking bellends, ill give u ADI, id love to met you in my artic.

  10. so what is your position if your in a cycle lane? because we all no you should be centralized, which is roughly a foot and a half.

    • Depends on the cycle lane and the conditions on the road. As most cycle lanes in this country are way below the recommended width riding on the outer edge of them usually means I avoid all the crap that gets swept to the gutters, the drain covers and potholes and makes me more visible to cars turning out of side roads. I’ll leave more space if passing parked cars to avoid being in the door zone.

      Some cycle lanes actually put the cyclists in more danger and don’t really help in which case I’ll ignore them entirely (the pathetic one on Wellesley Road in Croydon near the tram stop being a perfect example….). Basically I’ll ride where I feel most safe and visible to other road users.

    • What are you babbling about, petersuckingman? I’m not worried about gay slang or so-called slurs of that kind. If you’ve got a problem where you see homosexuality (something of which I have yet to actually indulge in) as a negative connotation then more pity to you.

      I suspect you have latent desires you wish to share.

      We’re right, we’re supported in our views by third parties (the government guidance, the official literature, the Police and the safety campaigners). What have you got? Nothing.

  11. gimme your address and ill pop my ADI round, i have a life, soon you wont if you ride like that you sad kid, hope you met some heavy rubber soon hahahahahahahahaha

    • What is so difficult to understand about basic road safety and common sense with you?? Would it have really been too much to ask for these 2 drivers to wait until it was safe to pass, so what if they had to follow behind me until the lights where I catch up with the 2nd driver, him overtaking me certainly didn’t save him anytime. Once we got past the Tesco at Purley it was pretty much solid traffic at which point I left them behind. 2 dangerous passes for absolutely no time saving. Yeah really professional. Until you can come back with something a little more constructive then idle threats and insults you really are just wasting your time as asking to be blocked.

  12. With a cursory scan of this thread, and of the YouTube replies, I am firmly of the opinion that one should attain a degree level in English language before being able to apply for a driving licence.

    If nothing else it would make internet debates a damn sight easier to understand, and would keep illiterate morons out from behind the weehl.

  13. No they don’t care. This is why ‘educating’ HGV drivers of the dangers they pose is really just such a small part of the issues facing cyclists and other road users. The drivers are both fully trained and should know better. I really feel the answer lies in proper infrastructure for cyclists. In the mean time, happy riding, and I hope to meet you sometime.


    Ps sorry Peter Pan, give it up mate. Go and read a book, have a pint and relax. Life gets better when you enjoy it!

  14. Peter, like a lot of people, you make a similar mistake when entering into internet discussions – you spiel out the same tired, ill-informed, prejudiced, insulting clap-trap. When engaged and asked to discuss facts and offer considered opinion, you retreat into a world akin to Kevin the teenager, and throw random insults. Now, adults are politely offering you the chance to debate subjects with them; are you going to show your maturity and explain your views logically, or would you sooner go elsewhere and have a bit of a fumble in your shorts whilst dreaming of attaining puberty?

    • I’ve just been browsing through you tube and stumbled across this. Arter reading all the comments i have come to the conclusion that peterfuckingpan and Rachel have a fair point. You are all a bunch of pricks, and it sounds like you want to go downfader and spunkjunky all over southlondoncyclist saddle. Or maybe you don’t use a saddle you just sit straight down on pole!

      • Another useful comment. Come on here, calls us “pricks” with no explaination why and then make a homosexual reference 🙂 I’m sure that you, Peterfuckingpan and Rachel are reading from the same manual….

      • Aren’t we a bit ashamed of our driving in those HGVs, kerbcrusher/Rachel/Peter!! Perhaps you should have paid more attention to the warnings about cyclists carrying cameras from your haulage association, and then you wouldn’t be bringing such shame on your companies.

        Those two overtakes would be about the worst piece of driving in 5000 driver interactions on London’s roads from my own experience. That says a lot about just how bad your driving was, and even more so in that it was from HGV drivers, who are usually far better than the average. Learn from it, and do better next time. It’s not going to be hard to improve when you start from such a low standard of driving.

  15. you all are just screaming out for attention bet you sad boys sit there wanking over writing your foul nonsense, as we all no you aint got wifes/girlfriends (probaly boyfriends though!), ride your bikes propaly and stop seeking attention from the real world! total fucking losers. ip address?? who gives a fuck MAGGOT!!

    • Again with the “gay” stuff, Peter. Something you’d like to tell us?

      I and most other people on this planet dont have a problem with homosexuality, so it isnt even an insult.

      Your card has been called. Grow up, theres a good boy.

    • Look fella, what is your point in posting here? You haven’t offered anything to the debate, other than frankly cliched and predictably obvious homophobic insults. If that’s all you are capable of, then do the world a favour and find some 12 year olds to impress. We are adults and will only humour you so long before getting bored with you.

      We have got wives and girlfriends, but what has that, or homosexuality, got to do with this debate? Nothing. But you keep bringing it up. This signals a disturbing immaturity in your ability to engage with people in society, and if you don’t address it, it will seriously limit your social circles.

      Unless this is some strange way in which you choose to engage with people, then I bet talking to you in real life is a hoot.

  16. pOoFs BUNCH OF FAGGOT BUM BOYS there aint no debate you bunch of pansies, WHO THE FUCK DO YOU FINK YOU ARE wanabe government officials!!!!!!! you get nowhere in life so you try youtube?? FAILURES, THE LOT OF YA

    • This is getting rather tiresome now. We have tried to be reasonable and given you plenty of chances to try and take part in an intelligent adult conversation and you have persistently shown you are incapable.

      You can carry on trying to embarrass yourself but in all honesty you are wasting your time.

    • I normally find that people that shout the loudest about something are normally the biggest culprits. Methinks that peterfu has a problem with his sexuality and is still locked firmoly in his closet, just waiting for the opportunity to come out 😉

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