TNT broke the law and put cyclists in danger – but they apologised and took action when the problem was pointed out
Then Pentti posted a video clip of an excellent piece of thoughtful driving by a TNT driver who noticed a cyclist was being put in danger by a car driver (see his comment below). So overall a good performance by TNT
Photographed in Sydney Street, Sheffield, 16 February 2011
Sydney Street is a one-way street with a contra-flow cycle lane. This delivery driver chose to block the cycle lane and ignore the double yellow line even though there were plenty of parking spaces on the other side of the road directly opposite.
He was making a delivery nearby, you can see from this photo that it was only a small parcel so carrying it across the road would have been no inconvenience.
Is this TNT Driver Breaking the Law?
As I mentioned in connection with a similar incident, it’s not against the law for a delivery driver to stop on a double yellow line for loading or unloading. However in this case the Highway code makes it clear:
HWC rule 243: Do not stop or park opposite or within 10 metres of a junction, except in an authorised parking space. Do not stop or park where you would obstruct cyclists’ use of cycle facilities.
This seems to apply. The van is clearly obstructing the cyclists’ use of the cycle lane, forcing them into the path of oncoming traffic which includes buses which tend to swing wide as they come round the bend at the far end of the street to avoid the parked cars then follow a line close to the bike lane while being hidden from the cyclists view by the van.
HWC rule 242: You MUST NOT leave your vehicle or trailer in a dangerous position or where it causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road.
In this case the obstruction is unnecessary because there is a parking bay very close. He was just lazy.
And it’s demonstrably a “dangerous position” as it forces cyclists into a dangerous manoeuvre.
So he’s breaking the law on three counts and putting us in danger. It’s worth noting that the white van in the top photo was also making a delivery and seemed to find no problem in using the marked parking bays.
Postscript 28 February 2011
I contacted TNT via the comment box on their website and had a very prompt reply, followed by a message from the local depot manager who said that the driver had been disciplined. So another transport company hat takes our opinions seriously.