In an eyebrow-raisingly swift review of policy, tool an equipment hire firm HSS Hire has promised to remove all cyclist warning signs from the rear of its Vauxhall Corsa vehicles before the year is out.
If you’re unfamiliar with the issues here, you can find explanations from The CTC, The Guardian, and Bez (the last of which documents a lesson in how not to handle it on social media). There’s even a six-page forum thread containing a discussion of the matter.
So how did the change come about?
On Friday 18th December, Singletrack columnist Bez spotted this Corsa (complete with warning sticker), photographed it, and tweeted it.
Anyone who thinks this message is appropriate on a Corsa should be neither a driver nor a fleet operator. @HSSHire pic.twitter.com/y2mHh7TbXH
— Bez (@beztweets) December 18, 2015
The dent in the rear bumper provided an opportunity for a further cheeky dig, after which all was quiet for a while.
However, a mere four hours later, HSS Hire’s made their way into the conversation with this solid gold crowd-pleaser.
@beztweets You've kept us busy today- good news is we'll be removing the stickers on our Corsa cars from next week. Merry Christmas!
— HSS Hire (@HSSHire) December 18, 2015
A merry Christmas indeed! Lucky timing or a swift decision? The latter, said HSS.
@beztweets A rapid decision today. We're all about delighting customers here and that includes any customers on two wheels!
— HSS Hire (@HSSHire) December 18, 2015
Impressive stuff. And a clear illustration of how simply liking and retweeting posts can send a potent message if there’s a receptive and responsive company watching them.
Let’s hope that HSS Hire’s example is noted by numerous other companies such as BT and Virgin Media, who use even worse signage on small vans.
I wonder why @virginmedia feel the need to tell cyclists to stay back from such a small van? pic.twitter.com/NQYgUqAzdQ
— Rich Wood (@bigrichwood) August 20, 2015
This BT Openreach van driver is well scared of cyclists #cycling pic.twitter.com/zGX9X5ycWl
— Neil Birchall (@birchdude) June 10, 2014
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Every vehicle has a blind spot. I can’t see these stickers doing any harm.
BT have ordered BT Fleet to fit the signs to all vehicles.
Nowt to do with the driver.
Anybody can own a bike and ride one on the road and not actually have any qualification to do this. Its a shame we all get the same tarnished brush as people with no common sense in seeing danger before it happens. I cant see any issue with the sticker, it probably might cut the operators liability if , mr no brain shoots up the inside to get their strava segment in time and gets squashed. I would suspect most deaths by cyclists in London are actually their fault, after witnessing the way they do ride , with total disregard to lights and junctions,with headphones on and racing each other.
A warning to the drivers on the dashboard might go further… the yanks already have mirror warnings.
I blame crossrail for this, the FORS scheme mean you need to apply stupid sticker like this to your whole fleet (including small vans), otherwise you can’t get on any sites. I can see the point with HGVs, but on vans it’s just stupid. We run VW t5s and have to have them, as well as “do not approach this vehicle” on both sides (makes getting in the van a bit of a mission. I have replaced my cyclist warning sticker with a road cc stay awesome one.
Respect to HSS for making the change.
“the FORS scheme mean you need to apply stupid sticker like this to your whole fleet”
Not so. See point 1:
At least the HSS one is a “Beware of passing this vehicle on the inside”, rather than that daft “Stay Back” sign.
Maybe they’d have more luck seeing cyclists (and bollards) if the entire back window wasn’t covered by a giant sticker?
(Oh and good work Bez!)
I quite often see a number of van’s with these stickers on as I drive to work along the A303 & M3 in the mornings and usually they are all driving like complete tits, speeding, tailgating etc. If you are going to put ‘warning’ stickers on vehicles telling other road users to behave, they could at least set an example. It is time that fleet operators clamped down on idiotic driving in Company vehicles.
Cheers Bez I wasn’t aware of that, I will let our fleet managers know (we have the revised message stickers atm).
Graham, yes, the wording is fine on this sticker, it just belongs on HGVs and the like, not Corsas. (TfL agreed in 2014.)
On a slight tangent, I note that some people on Facebook think this is a car-derived panel van (not being on Facebook, I can’t set them straight). It’s not obvious from the photo, but the windows have a mesh wrap on them: it’s still possible to see through from the inside. I don’t believe there is a blind spot on this vehicle large enough to conceal someone on a bicycle.