THE owner of one of the South Side's most popular restaurants threatened to "smash a cyclist's head in" during an altercation over the cycle lane outside his venue.

Thomas Cornwallis was passing Bar Vini, on Victoria Road, but stopped to talk to a driver who had parked his car partially blocking the segregated cycle way.

Initially, Thomas said, the conversation was civil but then the driver, Adriano Matteoni, began issuing threats.

In a video of the exchange, Adriano is seen to lean in close to Thomas's head and tell him: "Not today pal, I'll smash your f****** head in.

"You pick on me today, mate, I'll f******..."

When Thomas asks the restaurateur to "back off", he calls him a "f****** clown".

Thomas, who is the co-convenor of cycle advocacy group GoBike, said he is now worried about using the bike route, which runs from Queen's Park to the Merchant City, in case of further trouble.

Glasgow Times:

He said: "There's a big problem in the UK where people seem to turn a blind eye, people just don't speak to one another.

"People should have the common decency not to park in cycle lanes but we are at the point where no one talks about these issues because the car is always prioritised - people find it easier to be selfish.

"There's an issue on this stretch of the South City Way where people park partly in the cycle lane.

"I had been cycling back into the city centre when a small green sports car mounted the pavement right in front of me.

"I slowed down to have a chat with the person because I recognised the car as being parked in the bike lane regularly."

Thomas said he thought he could have a "citizen to citizen" talk with the driver about blocking the South City Way.

He said at first the conversation was civil and the driver explained that he does a lot to look after the immediate area, such as sweeping the pavements.

But when Thomas repeated that it was still not appropriate to park in the bike lane, the exchange turned sour.

He said: "The man came back over to me and leaned right into my face - even despite the coronavirus - and threatened me.

"When he saw I was filming he tried to grab the phone and as I was cycling away he chased me for a bit, telling me that I better not pass there again.

"Cyclists do get hassled on the roads and in bike lanes. I've been called a c*** and a "dirty b******" before.

"But this is the worst incident I've been involved in.

"I just hope that there could be a bit of mutual respect, but I was wrong."

When the Glasgow Times contacted Adriano he said that his business is cyclist-friendly. 

He added that he would hope to work with Glasgow City Council to have a loading bay created to avoid future issues.

Adriano said: "Many of our valued customers are cyclists. We have bike racks outside the shop. 

"We welcome any cyclists to come by on their morning or evening commute.

"Any business owner will understand that during deliveries and loading times, we need to cross the footpath and cycle lane to deliver goods to serve our customers. 

"The double lines are new, and we'd love to engage the council to put in a loading zone for all businesses on the strip - rather than to make things for more difficult for business during these times."

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: ""Around 11.55am on Friday, July 10, 2020, police received a report of an (verbal) altercation between two men on Victoria Road, Govanhill.

"Enquiries into the incident are continuing."