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Forest of Dean Caravans says it will take disciplinary action against driver filmed passing rider with inches to spare

A manager at a Gloucestershire company has said he is “horrified” at a video showing one of its vehicles speeding past a cyclist on the A59 at Samlesbury, Lancashire with barely inches to spare. The company, Forest of Dean Caravans, had been alerted to the video by a Twitter user who had seen it. The cyclist involved has told road.cc he believes the close pass was not only dangerous, but also deliberate.

The video, filmed at around 7.10am on Wednesday and posted to YouTube by user jthefishy, shows just how close the flatbed lorry, carrying one caravan and towing another, came to striking the cyclist. The potential consequences of that are obvious.

It’s clear the driver of the lorry saw the cyclist – the horn was sounded loudly and at length as the vehicle came up behind the rider, alarming enough in itself.

If you watch the video at work, you may wish to turn the sound down – there’s some (understandably) strong language.

In subtitles to the YouTube video, jthefishy said: “There is plenty of space and no oncoming cars etc. Other cars and wagons give me loads of space. They use the centre of the road to give me loads of space.”

He added: “Unfortunately I cannot work out his registration or company name. If anyone can help please do.”

The vehicle was quickly identified as belonging to Forest of Dean Caravans, based in Parkend, Gloucestershire.

The cyclist added: “There is an unsuitable cycle track at the side of the road which is a shared one with no rights of way and loads of lamp posts and signs in the middle of it! That is probably why he had a problem.”

This afternoon, road.cc spoke to the cyclist, named Jon, who works near the location where the close pass took place.

He told us: “When I heard the horn, I thought it was one of my mates, but when it continued I knew it wasn’t.”

Alerted by the noise to the fact something was going on, he didn’t look over his shoulder – something that could have taken him off his line – but kept riding straight on.

As the lorry went past, Jon was getting ready to put his hand out to gesticulate – luckily, though, he didn’t do that before the caravan being towed passed him.

“I’m a big bloke,” said Jon. “If it had been someone lighter, or not so good at holding their line, it could have been fatal.”

He described the driver as a “flaming idiot,” and said “I’d like to see him get points on his licence and severely reprimanded at work.”

But he said that so long as this was an isolated incident rather than repeat behaviour, he wouldn’t want to see the driver lose his job.

“I make mistakes, everyone makes mistakes, and we need tolerance on the roads,” he went on.

“But I would like to see him get prosecuted, because it was dangerous and it was deliberate,” added Jon, who believes the driver’s action was as a result of him not using the cycle path.

Jon has contacted Lancashire Constabulary to report the incident, but hasn’t heard back from them yet.

It’s the second time he’s contacted police over video footage of bad driving, and he told us on the previous occasion they did speak to the driver involved.

Mike Stead, who is on Twitter as @tweetymike, posted a message to the social network in which he described the incident as “borderline attempted murder.”

He took it upon himself to contact Forest of Dean Caravans and spoke to its transport manager, Mark Turley, who said he was “horrified” at the footage in the video.

Mr Turley added that “disciplinary action” would be taken against the driver when he returned and that the company would co-operate in any police investigation.

The family-owned firm has said that it is preparing a statement to reassure cyclists about the action it is taking.

We asked Mike why he felt compelled to act. He told us: "Social media can be great for raising awareness, but ranting/retweeting don't change much.

“Engaging with firms, helping them understand the depth of feeling and suggesting how to progress is the way to go.

“They're more likely to follow through and change or enforce policy and practice," he added.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

145 comments

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gforce [51 posts] 2 years ago
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Great that the company appear to be taking the incident seriously. Drivers like that can ruin the reputation of small firms.

Incidents like that are why I'm getting a rear facing cam - hopefully it would capture the reg number and the face of the idiot driving to help with identification, etc.

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700c [860 posts] 2 years ago
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Truly terrifying. Glad the company is going to take action. Now how about the police?...

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jacknorell [960 posts] 2 years ago
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gforce wrote:

Great that the company appear to be taking the incident seriously. Drivers like that can ruin the reputation of small firms.

Incidents like that are why I'm getting a rear facing cam - hopefully it would capture the reg number and the face of the idiot driving to help with identification, etc.

I'm seriously considering a rear facing video camera as well. Any ideas on how to mount it? Would prefer on the saddle rails centrally?

Didn't watch the video... seen enough and they're upsetting. Good to hear the company is taking action, I'm sure their insurance company would be very interested if they didn't.

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andyp [1444 posts] 2 years ago
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great stuff from Mark Turley. Restores your faith in people.

(aside...egad, the apostrophes!!)

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NickK123 [93 posts] 2 years ago
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Like others, glad the company is taking action. Out on a training run yesterday and it happened twice to me. I am glad to report though that the driver of the vehicle on the second occasion stopped someway in front and, when I caught up, apologised for 'cutting me up'. It is the first time this has happened and at least there was acknowledgement that adequate clearance had not be given.

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davidgray968 [21 posts] 2 years ago
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Bikebikebike [205 posts] 2 years ago
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Worst I think that I've ever seen. Amazing. I'm sure the police will act appropriately and send a sternly-worded letter to the driver. And probably one to the cyclist saying that he should have been on the cycle path wearing hi-viz.

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andycoventry [110 posts] 2 years ago
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3rd video "Decent of Parbold" clearly shows the same dude pushing on, all over the road then blasting past a Micra going through a speed camera - hmm if your going to tell others off for speeding and posting their registration on line then you need to practice what you preach IMO.

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dave2041 [22 posts] 2 years ago
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I was going to get the fly6 but it doesn't perform well in low-light situations so if that's what you are after choose another product.

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Chuck [534 posts] 2 years ago
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Christ that's close. Whatever punishment is heading the driver's way it needs to be serious.

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mattsccm [327 posts] 2 years ago
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Not in the slightest surprised. That companies vehicles come past my house and I live in fear of my live if I am out on my bike. Several other roads around here are lethal because of their vehicles.
I have been forced to a stop on the bike and in the car almost every time I am passed.
Part of the issue is that they have flat bed lorries with a caravan on and then a trailer with another. The roads don't really suit that. Can't moan about the company as its a long standing local business that is successful.

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124g [34 posts] 2 years ago
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Sadly this is not an uncommon sight I have had it happen to me in similar circs a few times. It is extremely frightening had the cyclist moved to the right to avoid pot hole / debris etc he is dead at that speed and with a vehicle that large there is no way he will survive.

The driver and I use that term loosely is guilty of due care at the very min but proving anything more serious is a difficulty given the road traffic act etc.

The benefit for a prosecution at least is the fact it shows it clearly and more importantly as was mentioned by the cyclist there is no oncoming traffic which would have made the idiot do as he did. That said it's still an easy case to prove as had there been any oncoming traffic he should have slowed and held back until it was safe to pass the cyclist.

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Stick2rfuH [6 posts] 2 years ago
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Absolutely bloody disgraceful, the driver wants banning - no excuse at all for this! I sympathise with the cyclist, I had a similar thing a year or so ago but it was a car with a young driver being a complete cock, unfortunately I didn't have a helmet cam  20 102

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punker [32 posts] 2 years ago
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i was run off the road a month back by a lorry. He had followed me for about 20 seconds before pulling out to overtake, then once the front of his trailer was level with me he pulled back in. I was doing about 25mph at the time and had to ride off the road, luckily for me there was no kerb although i did poo my pants a little. i emailed the firm and got a response but as i was too busy trying to stay upright i didn't catch his number plate so there was nothing they could do about it. As a result of this i now ride further out into the road for my own safety, this might annoy the odd driver but as least i get home alive.

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georgee [162 posts] 2 years ago
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No they won't, the guy will probably be questioned, no action taken, if it is I think it will be 3 points and £150 fine.

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charlierevell [38 posts] 2 years ago
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Maybe he'd seen clarksons Give an inch video and was beeping to say thanks for keep the roads quieter?

More to the point, I was night riding this week, quiet road, but nice and wide. Man decides to overtake a tractor coming towards me, Ive got an 800 lumen light on nice and bright and he just continues to accelerate towards me.
Luckily I just squeezed down the hedge, but if we have been 2 up someone would have gone thru the screen!

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Andy G [26 posts] 2 years ago
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georgee wrote:

No they won't, the guy will probably be questioned, no action taken, if it is I think it will be 3 points and £150 fine.

GMP wouldn't be interested. I had a hit and run before Christmas, all caught on camera. Unfortunately I wasn't injured so plod just checked that his papers were in order and closed it on the basis of too much else to do and some cock and bull about not enough evidence - there was plenty.

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kie7077 [861 posts] 2 years ago
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Police are not interested, that's official.

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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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Andy G wrote:
georgee wrote:

No they won't, the guy will probably be questioned, no action taken, if it is I think it will be 3 points and £150 fine.

GMP wouldn't be interested. I had a hit and run before Christmas, all caught on camera. Unfortunately I wasn't injured so plod just checked that his papers were in order and closed it on the basis of too much else to do and some cock and bull about not enough evidence - there was plenty.

I got hit by GMP.

They really didn't want to take it any further.

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Nzlucas [123 posts] 2 years ago
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Was a group ride the other day, had a oncoming truck towing a caravan nearly jackknife in front of us as he tried to overtake and pull in too rapidly another cyclist. F**king scary! Driver just manged to pull it back in lineup. Imagine 15 cyclists maimed in one accident!

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graphite [63 posts] 2 years ago
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Very scary.

What do drivers like this think they are playing at? One wrong move and at best its a very serious injury, worst case death.

Doubt the driver thinks it through or gives a shit though, the police don't seem to either.

No doubt Jeremy Clarkson would say the cyclist should have worked harder and then he could have afforded to buy a car. Cos it's like hilarious to laugh at RTA victims. Not.

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Beefy [376 posts] 2 years ago
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I am considering buying a caravan this spring as had one until 5 years ago and really miss the freedom. Guess where I was thinking of purchasing from? Not now, I think we should boycott these companies. I know they would argue that there going to take action against the driver, mmm hope it's not just PR. I think it would be better if drivers were instructed before such events. 6 inches and this guy would have been dead no ifs or buts and no bringing back to life when the company apologise. IMO put theses companies out of buisness by making these events as high profile as possible , then perhaps the companies left will give cyclists thought before incidents not after.

I suspect they will sit in the office have a laugh and then tell us he has been severely reprimanded.

Well he has just lost your company about £8000.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 2 years ago
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andycoventry wrote:

3rd video "Decent of Parbold" clearly shows the same dude pushing on, all over the road then blasting past a Micra going through a speed camera - hmm if your going to tell others off for speeding and posting their registration on line then you need to practice what you preach IMO.

IMO I feel complicity different to your opinion.

He is travelling faster than the motor vehicle limit. That is pretty clear, so he is taking the safest line through the corners, as no vehicle should be travelling faster than the speed limit. It is a pretty safe course to take.

Yes he past a slower car, but he did so on the outside, pretty safely if you ask me. I cannot see a problem with that video at all.

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cyclingDMlondon [483 posts] 2 years ago
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Chuck wrote:

Christ that's close. Whatever punishment is heading the driver's way it needs to be serious.

It won't be. Tory policy is that the fluidity of the road network 'is essential to the prosperity of the nation'.

'fluidity' is apparently synonomous with 'impunity'.

Sooner or later, we're going to wake up and send a loud and clear message to the police and the courts.

'Either you enforce the law, or we will do it for you'.

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WolfieSmith [1317 posts] 2 years ago
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Caravans. For adventurers! Who, er, like to drag their beige home behind them. Met one last week on the M6. Middle lane naturally, being towed by a 4x4, starting to rock violently. Scared the shit out of me and the lorry driver on the inside lane. Chose to get past it and the last I saw was it finishing it's overtaking manoeuvre and pulling in front of the lorry driver who was shaking his head from weary long term
experience.

What's wrong with a motor home with bicycles on the back?

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KiwiMike [1171 posts] 2 years ago
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OK keyboard / road warriors, let's actually DO SOMETHING to help this along.

Traffic prosecutions almost always require an independent witness to have any hope of success, let alone initial investigation. So we need to find the driver of the following black car (a Vauxhall?) 0710 5 May Eastbound toward Skipton on the A59 - exact location is here: http://goo.gl/maps/So6nO maybe all the northern clubs/shops could spread the word? Use Facebook / whatever?

Mind you, given there's an ANPR camera not 3 miles back (http://goo.gl/maps/j3x5X) , you'd hope Lancashire Police would have the rego sharpish.

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mrchrispy [444 posts] 2 years ago
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its these punishment passes that really sh!t me up.
I can pretty take care of myself when it comes to what happening in front but the idiots behind are another thing!

been clipped by a trailer myself but it was low speed so I survived. I hope Forest of Dean Caravans have the sense to publicly repremand the driver and get the police involved.

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andycoventry [110 posts] 2 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:
andycoventry wrote:

3rd video "Decent of Parbold" clearly shows the same dude pushing on, all over the road then blasting past a Micra going through a speed camera - hmm if your going to tell others off for speeding and posting their registration on line then you need to practice what you preach IMO.

IMO I feel complicity different to your opinion.

He is travelling faster than the motor vehicle limit. That is pretty clear, so he is taking the safest line through the corners, as no vehicle should be travelling faster than the speed limit. It is a pretty safe course to take.

Yes he past a slower car, but he did so on the outside, pretty safely if you ask me. I cannot see a problem with that video at all.

My point being he takes people to task for speeding, but posts videos of himself doing the same thing, somewhat hypocritical.

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oozaveared [936 posts] 2 years ago
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After resisting it for a while I have relented and bought a helmet cam. Mrs Oozaveared thought I'd gone nuts until I showed her some you tube stuff particularly one where the driver is clearly at fault in minor but expensive (to the cyclist). bump. The story on the soundtrack is from the cyclist and he tells us that the driver denied liability, made all kinds of accusations about the cyclist racing along etc. It would have all been a he said / he said right up to the point where the cyclist sends the video to the insurance company. It shows that he is stationary waiting to turn right at a T junction into the main road when the driver of the car coming from the right along the main road turns right cuts the corner, brakes at the last second and ends up colliding.

The lesson I drew wasn't that helmet cams stop this kind of nonsense, just that some drivers are prepared to lie and lie and lie about their actions when they do make mistakes and without witnesses or other kind of proof you'll end up fighting an insurance company.

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oozaveared [936 posts] 2 years ago
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After resisting it for a while I have relented and bought a helmet cam. Mrs Oozaveared thought I'd gone nuts until I showed her some you tube stuff particularly one where the driver is clearly at fault in minor but expensive (to the cyclist). bump. The story on the soundtrack is from the cyclist and he tells us that the driver denied liability, made all kinds of accusations about the cyclist racing along etc. It would have all been a he said / he said right up to the point where the cyclist sends the video to the insurance company. It shows that he is stationary waiting to turn right at a T junction into the main road when the driver of the car coming from the right along the main road turns right cuts the corner, brakes at the last second and ends up colliding.

The lesson I drew wasn't that helmet cams stop this kind of nonsense, just that some drivers are prepared to lie and lie and lie about their actions when they do make mistakes and without witnesses or other kind of proof you'll end up fighting an insurance company.

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