A CYCLIST threatened to punch a bus driver after he was caught pedalling down the busway and insisted he would rather go to prison than keep off the track.
The man was spotted cycling on the Cambridge-bound side of the track towards St Ives at around 5.45pm on Wednesday, October 19.
A Stagecoach driver travelling in the same direction on the other side of the track stopped to warn the man off the track, but his warning was ignored.
When the cyclist was confronted again at St Ives Park and Ride he threatened the same driver with violence and according to reports claimed ‘I would rather go to prison, than not cycle down the busway.’
The incident comes less than three weeks after another cyclist narrowly avoided going under the wheels of a bus while using the busway track between St Ives and Cambridge.
In that case passengers suffered two hours of delays after their bus suffered damage in the collision, and the driver has since been disciplined.
Stagecoach director Andy Campbell said he believed the latest offender is not the same one as involved in the October 1 incident. But he thinks the latest cyclist has used the busway “numerous times.”
“We had an incident on Wednesday evening where the bus was held up by a cyclist. The cyclist threatened to punch the driver, and said he would rather go to prison than not cycle down the busway.
“It is not a regular occurrence. Clearly it is a problem - something that needs addressing. If it was our property we would be prosecuting him, but it is owned Cambridgeshire County Council and they are aware of it.
“We always advise drivers not to get into a conflict situation, but if a cyclist is caught blocking the track, the driver is left in a difficult situation.”
A Cambridgeshire police spokesman said officers from St Ives’ neighbour police team were aware of the situation and were investigating it.
The county council’s head of delivery for the guided busway, Bob Menzies warned trespassing on the busway carried a £1,000 fine.
“For any cyclist to use the busway now it is fully operational is extremely foolhardy as they are putting not only themselves at risk but also the bus drivers and passengers.
“Our contractors are currently working hard to finish the St Ives section of the cycle path by mid November. There is a well signed alternative route to take cyclists back to the universally praised cycle track alongside the busway between Swavesey and Cambridge.”