A CYCLIST has been left with serious injuries after he was hit by a bus on a controversial new transport route.
Buses were diverted off the new £25m BRT – bus rapid transit – route in Fareham for an hour while emergency services dealt with the incident.
The 27-year-old man was hit by the front of a bus at the Palmerston Road junction in Fareham at about 10.40am on Thursday.
He was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, Portsmouth, by ambulance and has been left with serious facial injuries which are not thought to be life-threatening.
The driver was treated at the scene for shock.
Bikes are allowed to use the BRT route along with the Eclipse-branded buses.
Cyclist Paul Ostler, 62, from Portchester, who has been riding along the route since it opened last Sunday, said: ‘I’m not surprised at all someone’s been hit.
‘I have felt safe along there, but I am very aware of looking for accidents before they happen.’
Fellow cyclist Peter Webb, 53, from Bridgemary, added: ‘You can’t hear these buses coming up – they’re so quiet.
‘It’s unfortunate for an accident to happen, but it is a bit worrying it’s happened so soon after it started.
‘We don’t know all the circumstances, but will there be more accidents?’
The injured cyclist was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
PC John Bridgeman-Hills, from the Fratton roads policing unit, said: ‘I can’t emphasise enough the need to wear a cycle helmet while out and about on your bike.
‘In most situations, cycle helmets can significantly reduce the gravity of the injuries if worn.
‘In this case the cyclist’s injuries could have been greatly reduced by a helmet.’
A spokeswoman for First said: ‘It is too early to speculate on what may have caused the incident, but our own investigation team attended the scene and are working with the police to thoroughly investigate what has happened.
‘Our thoughts are with the cyclist – we wish him a full and speedy recovery.
‘As a result of the incident, the BRT busway was closed for a short time between Wych Lane and Redlands Lane in both directions.
‘During this time services E1 and E2 were diverted in both directions to operate via the A32 between Wych Lane and Fareham, while services between Wych Lane and Tichborne Way, Hutfield Link stop, were unaffected and continued as normal.’
Police are reviewing CCTV taken from the bus. No arrests have been made and there is no appeal for witnesses.