A dispute between a cyclist and a driving instructor has reignited the debate over safety for bike-users in Aberdeen.
The pair were filmed arguing about the use of bike lanes following an incident on North Deeside Road last week.
The cyclist, who was wearing a camera, was travelling outwith the marked cycle lane when a driving instructor passed by close, sounding the horn.
The cyclist caught up with the driver at the traffic lights, leading to a confrontation – with the driving instructor arguing it was “mandatory” to use the bike lane.
However, the biker argued the lane was “too narrow” and there were obstacles prohibiting his path through it, such as damaged road and multiple drain covers.
In the film, other cars can be seen safely overtaking the bike.
But during the dispute the driving instructor, believed to be from Porter’s Driving School in Danestone, said it was “mandatory” to use the bike lane.
In the footage, he said: “It is dangerous, you’re going to get run over and it will be your fault. For your own safety use the bike lane.”
However, the cyclist argued that he was in “primary position.”
Porter’s Driving School has shut down their Facebook page, amidst a barrage of messages and complaints being sent through by cyclists.
And the clip has now sent the clip to the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
Last night, Jacqui Turland, from the registrar of approved driving instructors, said: “It’s important approved driving instructors are teaching learners correctly which is why we have increased the number of standards checks and modernised the ADI qualification process.
“We will not hesitate in investigating any complaints about driving instructors but we are unable to comment on ongoing investigations.”
Neil Innes, of Aberdeen’s Ride the North team, said that “confrontations help no one”.
He is holding a consultation between cycling groups, council representatives and police next week to discuss how to make cycling conditions safer in the North-east.
Mr Innes said: “The north-east has plenty of people interested in creating a more active society.
“There are individual cyclists, campaign groups, clubs, local communities and public bodies, who are part of this picture and I suspect there is scope for more dialogue, partnership and progress.”
The consultation will take place at Robert Gordons University on September 26.Click hereto register for the event.
What the Highway Code says
While the issue of cycle lanes can be confusing, it is officially stated in the Highway Code that people can, on occasion, travel outwith them.
Rule 63 of the road guideline document states that the “use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but can make your journey safer.”
When using the lanes, cyclists are to keep within the lane when practical to do so.
Gavin Clark, secretary of the Aberdeen Cycle Forum explained the situation.
He said: “Mandatory cycle lanes are those which have a solid line, not a broken line, marking them.
“Anyone who uses the roads in Aberdeen will know that some of the surfaces are in really poor condition with huge potholes and sunken drain covers.
“Concern about safety is the main reason that stops more people from cycling, and if politicians really want to reduce congestion and air pollution by encouraging people to get out of their cars and onto bikes, the only way is to start providing decent quality infrastructure where people actually feel safe.”