Dangerous driving – who knows this Royal Mail HGV driver?

This Royal Mail driver almost killed a cyclist on Farringdon Road today. Who knows him?

I just received an unsettling mail by James Thomas, the cyclist who built the ghost bike for Deep Lee King’s Cross. Today, James, who is a very experienced and reasonable cyclist, almost got under a lorry himself.

This is what James wrote:

This morning a royal mail HGV driver nearly killed me on Farringdon road, I caught up with him at the Mount Pleasant sorting office. I explained how I’d been on the cycle lane and he had cut in on me as he overtook me at speed and I’d had to stop and lean onto the pavement and he missed be by less than 10cm.

His response was “the roads are dangerous you should get out of the way”.

He drove off without giving me his name or details, but I got a photo of him and his HGV.

I’ve tried to complain to royal mail but they have refused to give me an email address so I can send them the photos and said they need the registration. The incident number is 1-201-232-0829 and the manager is Michael Burton.

This Royal Mail lorry almost killed a cyclist in London today.

If anyone knows the name of the driver, please drop James an email:  james@thomasweb.eu Thanks a lot!

This incident corroborates my personal  impression that drivers of Royal Mail lorries are among the worst around. I encountered quite a few who drive recklessly and don’t give a damn about speed limits.

The callous reply by the driver shows that road safety apparently is not a major priority of Royal Mail and lives of cyclists don’t really matter to them. What a shame, especially for a government-owned company like Royal Mail.

Update: I did a little work on the second photo on Photoshop. I’d say it says something like “FK 09 -JLL”, “PK 09 – JLL” or “FX (PX) 09 – JLL”

Update, 7 December: James told me that Royal Mail has identified the driver. Below’s the email he received from the shift manager. It’s good to see that Royal Mail takes this incident seriously.

“James …

Thanks for your detailed email we have identified the Driver and he was interviewed by his Line Manager on Thursday 30th November … He did actually report the incident upon his arrival back at his Parent Office but this was after we had spoken as he didn’t return to Base until after 12.30pm …

It has been highlighted to him about taking extra care & vigilance when entering / egressing Mail Centres and all recommendations were taken onboard by the individual … As I suspected yesterday the Individual was an Agency Driver working for Royal Mail and you were correct in your assumption he was of Eastern European Origin … His manager explained to me that this guy is one of the better Agency Staff we have employed, always on time, courteous, willing to help, flexible in his attendance etc and the incident yesterday was the first to our knowledge that he has been involved in whilst working for RM … I’m not sure if the Language barrier was a factor yesterday as his command of English isn’t the best but either way, as you commented yesterday, if a more courteous response had been forthcoming then maybe I wouldn’t be writing this email to you now …

Upon reading your email you have asked for 3 things from Royal Mail which include an apology from the driver … He did apologise to his Line Manager for the aggravation caused but a personnel apology will not be forthcoming from him 1st hand but if it helps I will apologise on behalf of Royal Mail,

I unfortunately will not be able to divulge our drivers name either …

He will be attending as explained yesterday a ‘Bike Awareness’ Course in the New Year, as will all other LGV Drivers in the London Region, as he will be working for RM for the foreseeable future …

The Incident has been recorded against the Driver and will be held on record for 12 months …

I hope this email and its contents are acceptable to you and that we can now close this incident but please feel free to contact me if you require anything further …


Craig Bartlett-Day
C&N Early Shift Manager”



17 thoughts on “Dangerous driving – who knows this Royal Mail HGV driver?

  1. Pingback: Anonymous

  2. Olivia

    Oh dear. That sort of thing is terrifying and unsettling. One thing when drivers make a bit of an error of judgement, another thing when they drive recklessly, and another thing altogether to seem to see the roads as their personal fiefdom (that lorry is quite big). So sorry to hear about the incident … let’s hope the tweet gets some responses.

  3. Simon Munk

    Is that the highest res version you have of the bottom pic (which has the van’s numberplate visible – https://cyclingintelligence.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/img00032-20111130-0818.jpg)? Even the first three letters would probably be enough to identify the van – given you have a time and location also!

    Some canny Photoshop wiz could probably enhance the detail there and get a clear plate off the pic. But a higher res pic would solve that.

    Glad you’re OK, either way – and good for you for trying to do something about such dreadful driving!

  4. jones

    It’s ‘defo’ not F409, that would be a 1988/9 registration and cash-strapped as the RM may be, they don’t use 20yr old lorries. It’s possibly FK09, but the first two letters are kinda irrelevant as they’re a registration area designator, and within a large fleet would be identical across dozens, if not hundreds of vehicles.

    Sorry, not trying to be negative on purpose, just blocking off blind alleys at the entrance. Hope someone can use some CSI-style deciphering on the photo.

  5. Fiachra

    Funnily (not funnily), after reading this today I’d a shout-at-the-driver experience with a Royal Mail van overtaking me on the right and then cutting across me to park in a lay-by on my way home from Waterloo Station. Not fun!

  6. James (also)

    “Write to the chief executive of Royal Mail. Don’t mess about and report it to the Police.” <– This. Do this.

  7. Beth A

    If James takes a look around where it happened for CCTV cameras (council, police and private) he can request footage (as it contains him) through the Data Protection Act. There should be operator details on the cameras themselves and it could show the registration number of the HGV.

  8. My wife was appalled by this, and complained to the chief executive of Royal Mail by email. She has now received a reply and has asked me to forward it on to you on her behalf. Please email me with your email address so I can do this.

  9. Isobel

    When my husband (George Czernuszka) showed me this on 30th November I decided to contact the Chief Executive of Royal Mail directly. I didn’t have her email address but guessed it accurately, as amazingly it got through to her and she responded to me. I have to say that her response was very positive and refreshing, as is the fact that the matter was not ignored and the driver was spoken to and will be going on some training. The Chief Executive is called Moya Greene. Her email is simply her first name and surname separated by a dot @ royalmail.com. If anyone experiences anything similar, go straight to the top!

  10. Pingback: How to deal with lorries as a cyclist « Cycling Intelligence

  11. Paul Collins

    I got that as PN09 ***, sorry to read this, As a HGV 1 driver of 38 years, and Drivers CPC card holder ,I’m stunned that he even got that close to you, and also shocked that he is still driving trucks , health & safety is so strict I’m just surprised by the whole thing ,personally, on approaching a cyclist, I stay well behind until such times as I can give them a good half of the lane as I pass them. Eastern European hmmmm I ‘ll reserve comment.

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