Companies that Endanger Cyclists – TNT

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.

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9 Responses to “Companies that Endanger Cyclists – TNT”

  1. dexey Says:

    Have you reported it to TNT?

  2. chrisrust Says:

    Yes I have reported it. TNT have a good feedback system on their website so I’m expecting they will make a helpful response, big transport companies seem to be able to deal with this kind of thing in a positive way. Unlike Veolia, who do our local waste collection, and Sainsburys whose driver came close to killing me a while ago.

  3. Ian Oliver Says:

    We had a similar issue in Leeds. Despite the unloading layby, a dray truck would park with two wheels in the cycle contraflow lane. As this was divided from both the pavement and the road by high kerbs, this meant that cyclists had to dismount to squeeze past the truck.

    On the day that a guy at work decided to photograph this, the dray men had blocked the pavement with barrels, which was preventing a (rather irate!) wheelchair user from passing. The photographs captured the emotion of the moment, and when copies were sent to the Council (highways, parking enforcement, cycling and disabled access departments), the company involved, the licenced premises being delivered to, and the licencing authorities, the problem was finally solved.

    Ian

  4. dexey Says:

    It’s a shame that individual drivers are sometimes so thoughtless but quite heartening that their firms are prepared to take action.

  5. Pentti Says:

    I am thankful to this TNT driver who moved over as far as he could when a thoughtless car driver decided to pass me when he should have held back until oncoming traffic had passed (fast forward to 07:31:22).

  6. chrisrust Says:

    Thanks for that Pentti, nice driving by TNT. Nice day for a commute and very clear Brompton luggage shadow I see

  7. Luke Desforges Says:

    I’ve just had exactly the same problem with the same vehicle (see link to photo). I also wrote TNT and got a good response from the manager. But seeing your blog makes me think that the manager has clearly been ineffective. I don’t know if the van always has the same driver, but either he pays no attention to the manager, or all the drivers who use thus can need proactive management.

  8. chrisrust Says:

    I guess it depends when you took this photo Luke. If it’s recent then maybe it’s not surprising that staff might change and we have to start again. Can you give me the date?

  9. Luke Desforges Says:

    It was 27 June 2013, so it is quite some time since your incident. However, it does suggest that TNT aren’t communicating to drivers about the professional standards they expect.

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