Woman drives her 4X4 into an autistic cyclist

Cyclist Simon Edgley was lucky to be alive after an altercation with Natalie Pyne left his bike mangled and a shop-front completely wrecked.

What began as an argument about a near collision on Park Road, Kingston, quickly escalated when Pyne returned to her vehicle and purposefully drove at Mr Edgeley, Kingston Crown Court found on 9 October. There were five children in the car at the time of the incident.

Prosecutor James Lofthouse said:

[Pyne] intended to cause Mr Edgley very serious harm. She was reckless. She got back into the car, in anger, the red mist descended and she chose to drive into Mr Edgley.

Witnesses say that the powerful Audi Q7 collided with Edgley and his bike, he rolled over the bonnet, and the bike was crushed. The 4×4 crashed through the bay window of Park Salon causing £25,000 worth of damage. Simon Edgley escaped with only minor injuries.

Mrs Pyne was found guilty of dangerous driving, causing damage in excess of £5,000 and attempted grievous bodily harm. She will be sentenced on 5 November.

Jon Fray of the Kingston Cycling Campaign said:

Read on...

I suppose the police picked the charge of attempted GBH because they thought that is the one that would stick. I have some sympathy for people who think it should have been a harsher [charge.]  All I know is it could have been a lot worse for the cyclist involved.

Numerous reports of cyclists being pushed into oncoming traffic, pins and high wires being set in the path of bike races, intentional ramming, as well as minor, everyday experiences of abuse suggest that Britain has a persistent problem of Cyclist hatred. Some experts say that this sort of targeting mirrors the discrimination usually experienced by minorities.

A BBC article ‘The psychology of why  cyclists enrage car drivers’ suggested that drivers are enacting ‘altruistic punishment’ on cyclists who do not obey the rules of the road, that they feel generalised anger at free-riding cyclists who do not pay vehicle excise duty. Articles such as this seem to provide justification and pander to the prejudices of enraged motorists.

It’s worrying that with more cyclists on the road than ever this ‘victim blaming’ mentality abounds in the mainstream media and could be contributing to this sort of cyclist directed road-rage.

Our neighbours in the Netherlands have a very different attitude towards cycling and appear to be reaping the benefits through improved public health, quality of life and associated industries. A recent report quantifies the benefits of Dutch cycling and estimates that it has contributed to a half year improvement in life expectancy, and that the 0.5 billion euro infrastructure investment pays off 19 billion euros in national healthcare savings.

The Netherlands has an extensive cycle network that means fast moving cars and bicycles are kept separate, in the town centres it is not uncommon to see slow moving cyclists riding two or three abreast, and this is considered normal and acceptable. There are also clear rules for cyclists and fines for violations.

We need to recognise that incidents like those between Mr Edgeley and Mrs Pyne are becoming far too common on our streets and improve the cycling infrastructure. But crucially, we also need to accept the one-sidedness of the debate and recognise that the media is endangering lives by pandering to anti-cyclist prejudice.


We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed