Pedestrian called 999 to report me cycling on a cycle path...

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by OneArmedBandit, 10 Aug 2018.

  1. OneArmedBandit

    OneArmedBandit Active Member

    Had one of my most bizarre cycling experiences.

    Around me someone has gone round putting up lots of homemade signs saying cyclists must give way to pedestrians. Now whilst of course true, most people are sensible and if you ring your bell they kindly move to one side so you can pass. You don't need to get off your bike and kneel in reverence until they pass.

    Anyway, I was cycling to the supermarket with mini-two-arms in the bike trailer. The path is 3m wide with a white line down the centre. As I was a few dozen metres away from a couple I rang my bell. The wife stepped further over into the pedestrian side but the husband stepped right so he was straddling the white line. I moved over right to the edge of the cycle side and passed with plenty of space.

    As I am locking up the bike at the supermarket this bloke suddenly runs across the car park absolutely screaming, saying that it was a pedestrian path and I had almost knocked him over. I tried to explain but he wouldn't listen. When he continued going mental, conscious I had a three year old with me, I did admittedly take advantage of being 2m tall and well built to get in his face and tell him to go away because he was embarrassing himself.

    At this stage he goes away and - I thought - pretended to call 999 to report that a cyclist had passed him too close.

    Happily choosing pizzas with 3yo and the police come in... "we'd like a word". At first they were actually quite aggressive, the story from him was that I had passed so close that he was almost knocked over and feared for welfare of the child.

    Luckily one of the police officers was a cyclist and knew the path. When I explained to them what had actually happened, and offered them the camera footage if they wanted to verify it, they visibly became annoyed they had been scrambled to a cyclist cycling along a cycle path. He ended up being escorted out and held by police outside for a good while. I don't know if it was anything more than "stop wasting our time".

    It was definitely a very surreal experience. I've had pedestrians try and block me on a cycle path before but never call plod! I'm going to look into the signs and see if they can be taken down - certainly "share" a path but "priorities" will only wind up the anti-cyclist brigade.
    Last edited: 10 Aug 2018
  2. Drago

    Drago Guru

    I don't know which is worse - that a nodder calls 999, a strictly emergency number, to report an imaginary close past by a cyclist, or that the police sent two hobbies to a report of a close pass by a cyclist.

    Having worked in a police call centre and control room for a spell, I'm firmly of the belief that senior officers should grow some cojones and start prosecuting chumps that abuse the 999 service.
    Daddy Pig, GuyBoden, Tizme and 25 others like this.
  3. ianrauk

    ianrauk Tattooed Beat Messiah

    Atop a Ti
    Home made signs mean nothing and have no jurisdiction. Ignore or rip down and dump in the bin.
  4. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

    I'd favour reporting the placement of the signs rather than tearing then down. Getting camera evidence they were in place in the first place.

    @Drago, to me the biggest nodder is the one who knowingly made a false 999 call. They have to be answered, and whilst dealing with a false call, may have been required somewhere else. Goes for all emergency services.

    Hopefully he'll be done for making the false call.
  5. OP

    OneArmedBandit Active Member

    From what I heard if the phone call he said he had an 'altercation' with a cyclist. I suppose that could mean almost anything. I don't know what sort of questions they ask before deciding what priority.

    I think it may have been the "welfare of child" line. At least in the NHS that always gets you bumped up the list
    Andy in Germany and Illaveago like this.
  6. postman

    postman Legendary Member

    Meanwood ,Leeds
    999 is for emergencies,,he should have been shot down then and there.How come two coppers can find time to follow up a stupid complaint like that
  7. crazyjoe101

    crazyjoe101 New Member

    I've never had anyone that crazy. I have had a couple of irate/incensed pedestrians flag me down and rave at me that I'm not meant to be on a shared use path though; I normally point to the shared use sign or cheerily refer them to the Met Police office/hut if in Greenwich Park before carrying on my merry way.

    Because the stupid bloke that called it in threw around phrases like "altercation" and "child welfare". @Drago is right, unless people who waste 999 time are dealt with it will just continue.
    Tizme, Edwardoka, HLaB and 3 others like this.
  8. OP

    OneArmedBandit Active Member

    You are lucky. They are not common but probably a few times a year... but I would much rather potentially hit a car than a pedestrian.

    The worst one I ever had was again a divided cycle path, in fact about a kilometre further on. It is straight and the only people on it are me and a mother and young child approaching.

    Literally just as I was seconds away the mother turned and pushed the boy into the cycle path whilst holding outstretched hands. I skid and, as the mother realises what is happening, screams. I manage to avoid the kid, but by centimetres.

    I still regret it now but I just rode on. I was so shocked I could barely process what had happened, and I think if I had stopped I would have lost it. I still think about it now and can only imagine that, impossibly, the mother hadn't seen me and was just playing. That was the worst moment I have ever had cycling.
    Andy in Germany likes this.
  9. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

    Because of the number dialled to make the call. They have to be answered, especially if the caller ends the call before "finishing the call".
  10. I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this....

    This is bizarre. The other side of the situation is the one i often experience, i.e being abused by motons for not using a cycle path, even when travelling at 20+ mph on relatively quiet dual carriageways.
  11. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Too many nobbers in the world. I was told to get a bell - two runners, with head phones in. They heard me say 'excuse me. can I pass'. passed then got 'a bell would be useful'

    My reply was 'well it doesn't work if people are using headphones and it's far more polite to talk to folk' win win.
  12. winjim

    winjim A youth of interminable age

    Could be worse...

    jamma25, tamiya, Cycleops and 2 others like this.
  13. Pat "5mph"

    Pat "5mph" A kilogrammicaly challenged woman Moderator

    I get abuse for cycling on my local shared path, despite the clear signs.
    Once, when I pointed a sign out, the answer was " it doesn't mean here, it means the road ..."
    Can't win! :laugh:
    jamma25, Donger, Edwardoka and 6 others like this.
  14. crazyjoe101

    crazyjoe101 New Member

    The speed doesn't matter, it's just the being there. I can be holding 25-30 on a 20 road and I'll still get impatient motorists trying to force a pass.
    Andy in Germany and raleighnut like this.
  15. flake99please

    flake99please Make mine a '99'

    I have similar... The eventual overtake, the look across by the driver (held for a few seconds for intimidation/smugness purposes), before finally squeezing into the ASL area. I do like their steely faced look ahead whilst I pull alongside the driver.
    Last edited: 12 Aug 2018
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