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West Yorkshire and Devon & Cornwall police will run close pass operations, while police in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and Dorset, are considering trials

Police across six forces in England, covering a population of 7.6 million people, have confirmed they are looking to roll out a close pass operation pioneered in the West Midlands last year.

West Yorkshire and Devon & Cornwall have confirmed they will adapt the Give Space, be Safe operation for their beats, while police in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, who work together on roads policing, are considering the same, as are Dorset Police.

The news follows announcements that UK constabularies, including the Metropolitan Police, Avon and Somerset and East of Scotland Police, will trial Give Space, be Safe in London, Bristol and Bath, and Edinburgh, among other places. 

Surrey Police are still assessing whether they think the operation will work on local roads, while police in Derbyshire and Cheshire told road.cc they don’t feel the operation is suitable for their beats.

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After sending four or five officers to a demo day last month, run by West Midlands Police and attended by 16 UK police forces, West Yorkshire Police confirmed they are now working alongside Leeds City Council on a pilot scheme to start in the city in spring.

A spokesperson told road.cc: “The trial is likely to be run in the Inner North West area of Leeds in spring, focussing on areas where there are statistically more cycling collisions.

“If shown to have a positive impact on reducing causalities, then West Yorkshire Police and other authorities, who work collaboratively in an established Safer Roads Partnership, will consider a greater roll out.”

West Yorkshire's Safer Roads Partnership covers five local authorities: Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield. 

Two West Midlands Police officers, Steve Hudson and Mark Hodson, designed the operation last year to tackle collision rates and fears putting people off cycling, which has received huge levels of publicity nationally and, with just a few hours of police time, halved close pass reports in Birmingham.  A safe passing distance is widely considered to be a minimum of 1.5 metres, though the Highway Code simply states drivers should give cyclists as much room as they do a car.

Chief Inspector Adrian Leisk, Head of Roads Policing at Devon & Cornwall Police, said although they was unable to attend the demo day, his force is looking to develop a similar initiative. 

Ch Insp Leisk told road.cc: “We are going to send up a team to learn from [West Midlands Police] and see how we can develop the idea for our 22,000 km of road network in a mixture of urban and rural environments.

“We are keen to develop our own educational input to enable effective hard hitting delivery at the roadside.”

Devon and Cornwall’s beat includes a large stretch of the Land’s End to John O’Groats route, notably the A30, on which two LEJOG cyclists were killed when a lorry driver “suffering from extreme fatigue” mowed them down in 2013.

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Sergeant Ian Manley, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit, said he is interested in the operation.

He said: “I’ve been liaising with officers in the West Midlands about Operation Close Pass and I’m interested in exploring how we could potentially implement something similar locally.

“Cyclists are vulnerable road users and it’s important that we are doing all we can to make the roads safer for everyone.”

A Dorset Police spokesperson said: “The ‘close pass’ initiative is something they will be considering in the future and its suitability in Dorset.”

They added Dorset Police have done a number of cycle safety initiatives, including enforcement, issuing free lights and reflective gear, as well as “education at both schools and foreign language colleges”.

A Surrey Police spokeswoman told road.cc: “We attended a seminar and at this stage no final decision has been made. We will be assessing what may work on the road network in Surrey.”

Essex police, meanwhile, are focusing cycle safety operations on following up on-bike camera footage submitted by cyclists.

Meanwhile, two forces told road.cc the operation is not suitable for local roads. A spokesperson from Derbyshire police said cyclist death and serious injury (KSI) rates are too low to warrant the operation – whereas the West Midlands saw 500 cyclist KSIs 2010-2014, in Derbyshire this figure was 18, with casualty figures not rising in line with increased cycle journeys in the area.

The spokesperson said: “The increase in cycle journeys compared to reported collisions on routes throughout the county and Derby itself demonstrates that generally, different types of road users do respect each other – some don’t of course and over many miles of routes, this can make targeting them difficult to do effectively.

“From this perspective any police operation or campaign has to be based on the identification of collision trends or locations and these are not clearly made out to justify targeting certain routes.

“At this time there are no plans to replicate the West Midlands operation within Derbyshire given that any police action has to be proportionate to justify resources and Derbyshire does not suffer from this high number of KSI collisions in relation to ‘travelling too close’ to cyclists.”

This article was updated on 8 February to include the definition of a safe passing distance.

25 comments

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RobD [539 posts] 10 months ago
2 likes

Great, so Essex police are basically going to carry on doing nothing...

'Following up on on bike camera footage' so if you didn't film it then it didn't happen?

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Gourmet Shot [173 posts] 10 months ago
4 likes

Leeds here...excellent....rubs hands.

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therevokid [1015 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

avon & somerset ... Goodie  1

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ktache [627 posts] 10 months ago
10 likes

Dorset, I don't understand, how are you giving motorist free lights?

Oh, no, I get it, you mean the vunerable, don't you?  You don't need to educate them on their vulnerability.

You see what WMP have done is try and stop the killing by having a go at those doing the killing.

If there were a spate of shootings in your county, you'd be handing out bullet resistant vests to the public rather then arresting the criminals and taking away their guns.

 

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Housecathst [607 posts] 10 months ago
1 like
ktache wrote:

Dorset, I don't understand, how are you giving motorist free lights?

Oh, no, I get it, you mean the vunerable, don't you?  You don't need to educate them on their vulnerability.

You see what WMP have done is try and stop the killing by having a go at those doing the killing.

If there were a spate of shootings in your county, you'd be handing out bullet resistant vests to the public rather then arresting the criminals and taking away their guns.

 

well put 

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cbrndc [57 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

Hampshire Constabulary, where are you?  

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Bez [620 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

I believe Hampshire were the first to say they're implementing it; they did so right after WMP's workshop day.

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grumpyoldcyclist [52 posts] 10 months ago
2 likes

Cheshire Police - not doing it, why am I not surprised. Sent clear video footage to them on several occasions with nothing done. One time I actually phoned to complain about their inactivity and a sergeant in the collisions team said he'd viewed the footage and no rules had been broken. This was an SUV plus a trailer overtaking me and missing me by less than 200 mm as a double decker bus went in the opposite direction at the same moment. 

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willythepimp [116 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

Great that Devon and Cornwall have adopted it. Being rural they could just concentrate on the major towns and cities. In the main, you get pretty good passing in the lanes. People are used to tractors/horse riders/livestock around the next bend and drive like that is likely.

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djfleming22 [41 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

 

What about the rest of Scotland ..we must be waiting till we are independant from the rest of the UK so that Nicola Sturgeon can say she thought of it first ....

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congokid [325 posts] 10 months ago
3 likes
ktache wrote:

If there were a spate of shootings in your county, you'd be handing out bullet resistant vests to the public rather then arresting the criminals and taking away their guns.

The NSW equivalent would be forcing people by law to wear bullet proof vests and fining us for not wearing one while outdoors...

 

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congokid [325 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

It looks like my local police force is missing from the debate. How does one begin to engage them on this?

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fustuarium [232 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

Leeds inner NW. Isn't that right where the new cycling super highway ends?!

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ConcordeCX [506 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes
ktache wrote:

Dorset, I don't understand, how are you giving motorist free lights?

Oh, no, I get it, you mean the vunerable, don't you?  You don't need to educate them on their vulnerability.

You see what WMP have done is try and stop the killing by having a go at those doing the killing.

If there were a spate of shootings in your county, you'd be handing out bullet resistant vests to the public rather then arresting the criminals and taking away their guns.

Derbyshire's police gave a good explanation of why they're not adopting this initiative. Perhaps they just have a better PR department than Dorset, because Dorset's figures, as I see them anyway, don't really merit the comparison with a 'spate of shootings'.

http://www.travelindependent.org.uk/area_55.html

Dorset's a nice place to cycle.

 

 

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ChairRDRF [366 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

congokid - go through your local CyclingUK or cycle campaign group. Try the Council who will have links with police. If no go there, through Police and Crime Commissioner. There may be Safer Transport Teams or Traffic Police who can be contacte directly. Write to them through cycle campaign/CyclingUK group.

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ktache [627 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

ConcordeCX, I wish you well if it's a nice place to cycle, some of us don't get that, the best I could say about here is that sometimes there are nice bits.

Thanks for the stats.  Just thinking that 27 child KSIs in 5 years might be too many.  And there were only 30 KSIs for children in cars.  Or the 72 cyclist KSIs in 2015, which appears to be on an upward trend.  2012 seemed like a bad year for everyone.  But what I noticed is that the 72 cyclist KSIs compares to the 161 car occupants, which would give a suggested modal share of about 30%, which I'm kind of guessing it's not.  It seems to me that the figures show increasing safety for car occupents and increasing dangers for cyclists.  Maybe something needs to be done.  Perhaps, try something new.  They would be shocked by the number of drivers they get for smart phone use.  Is it our height that let's us see that texting hand?

The single cyclist killed in 2015 is a low number.  But there were 13 over the past 5 years, as the trend for the KSI is up that could seem as more of a statistical anomoly.  Poor rider.  2013 was very lucky year.  

I don't want to at all suggest to you that your roads are nasty, and if it that nice I am properly jealous.  It's just that, as there may have been a large increase in car driving and huge increases in car occupant safety, there appears to be more risk to cyclists.

I know I could probably find out by delving into the further report links, but what do you think counts as "other"?

 

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ktache [627 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

Ohh, I tried to figure out how many constituted a spate.

Now the Leinster Leader gives 5 burglaries in 3 days.

And the BBC news gives 75 for the number of murders in June 2015.

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ConcordeCX [506 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes
ktache wrote:

ConcordeCX, I wish you well if it's a nice place to cycle, some of us don't get that, the best I could say about here is that sometimes there are nice bits.

Thanks for the stats.  Just thinking that 27 child KSIs in 5 years might be too many.  And there were only 30 KSIs for children in cars.  Or the 72 cyclist KSIs in 2015, which appears to be on an upward trend.  2012 seemed like a bad year for everyone.  But what I noticed is that the 72 cyclist KSIs compares to the 161 car occupants, which would give a suggested modal share of about 30%, which I'm kind of guessing it's not.  It seems to me that the figures show increasing safety for car occupents and increasing dangers for cyclists.  Maybe something needs to be done.  Perhaps, try something new.  They would be shocked by the number of drivers they get for smart phone use.  Is it our height that let's us see that texting hand?

The single cyclist killed in 2015 is a low number.  But there were 13 over the past 5 years, as the trend for the KSI is up that could seem as more of a statistical anomoly.  Poor rider.  2013 was very lucky year.  

I don't want to at all suggest to you that your roads are nasty, and if it that nice I am properly jealous.  It's just that, as there may have been a large increase in car driving and huge increases in car occupant safety, there appears to be more risk to cyclists.

I know I could probably find out by delving into the further report links, but what do you think counts as "other"?

they're not my roads. I live and cycle mostly in London. But Dorset's a nice place to cycle. It has, I believe, precisely one mile of motorway. 

I picked on your Dorset comment because you made a highly emotive claim without any reference to the facts, but said nothing about Derbyshire, who explained with accompanying numbers why they are not prioritising this type of initiative. Maybe Dorset have similar reasons, but their PR people aren't as good. They should spend their money on initiatives that will have the highest impact regardless of transport mode.

Really if you're going to make a comparison to a spate of shootings you should make an effort to find out if the comparison is fair and show the rest of us your reasoning, otherwise you're just using the Donald Trump method of argument, consisting of random insults off the top of your head (probably hiding under the toupee) with no link to reality. 

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ConcordeCX [506 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes
ktache wrote:

Ohh, I tried to figure out how many constituted a spate.

Now the Leinster Leader gives 5 burglaries in 3 days.

And the BBC news gives 75 for the number of murders in June 2015.

chambers dictionary describes it as 'A flood. A sudden rush or increased quantity'. I'd suggest the way to figure out how many constitute a spate is to use statistical process control, such that anything more than 3 standard deviations from the mean could reasonably be called a spate and warrant more than normal attention. 

Whether it's a spate or not in the case of KSIs is irrelevant though. What matters is reducing the absolute number of people KSIed.

 

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slow_going [17 posts] 10 months ago
1 like
ConcordeCX wrote:
ktache wrote:

ConcordeCX, I wish you well if it's a nice place to cycle, some of us don't get that, the best I could say about here is that sometimes there are nice bits.

Thanks for the stats.  Just thinking that 27 child KSIs in 5 years might be too many.  And there were only 30 KSIs for children in cars.  Or the 72 cyclist KSIs in 2015, which appears to be on an upward trend.  2012 seemed like a bad year for everyone.  But what I noticed is that the 72 cyclist KSIs compares to the 161 car occupants, which would give a suggested modal share of about 30%, which I'm kind of guessing it's not.  It seems to me that the figures show increasing safety for car occupents and increasing dangers for cyclists.  Maybe something needs to be done.  Perhaps, try something new.  They would be shocked by the number of drivers they get for smart phone use.  Is it our height that let's us see that texting hand?

The single cyclist killed in 2015 is a low number.  But there were 13 over the past 5 years, as the trend for the KSI is up that could seem as more of a statistical anomoly.  Poor rider.  2013 was very lucky year.  

I don't want to at all suggest to you that your roads are nasty, and if it that nice I am properly jealous.  It's just that, as there may have been a large increase in car driving and huge increases in car occupant safety, there appears to be more risk to cyclists.

I know I could probably find out by delving into the further report links, but what do you think counts as "other"?

they're not my roads. I live and cycle mostly in London. But Dorset's a nice place to cycle. It has, I believe, precisely one mile of motorway. 

I picked on your Dorset comment because you made a highly emotive claim without any reference to the facts, but said nothing about Derbyshire, who explained with accompanying numbers why they are not prioritising this type of initiative. Maybe Dorset have similar reasons, but their PR people aren't as good. They should spend their money on initiatives that will have the highest impact regardless of transport mode.

Really if you're going to make a comparison to a spate of shootings you should make an effort to find out if the comparison is fair and show the rest of us your reasoning, otherwise you're just using the Donald Trump method of argument, consisting of random insults off the top of your head (probably hiding under the toupee) with no link to reality. 

 

I think the statistical comparison is missing the point a bit. A better ground for comparison with a spate of shootings is the logic of victim-blaming evident in Dorset's reply. The point is that the police are choosing to place the onus on the victim rather than seeking to address the cause. I agree its a rather emotive comparison. A better comparison might be if the police sought to tackle drink driving by putting resoruces into advising everyone else how to spot drunk drivers and avoid them, rather than seeking to challenge the behaviour itself.

 

As for Dorset; I live in Dorset, and whilst there are many 'nice' roads for weekend cycling, the ones you need to use for commuting are anything but nice. We don't actually have any motorways (which is of course  irrelevant for cycling because you can't cycle on motorways) but we do have  Bournemouth, which was again listed as one of the most dangrous places for cycling outside London last year (http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/14804703.Bournemouth_named_fourth_...).

 

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ktache [627 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

I have been appalled at Derbyshire polices attitude in the past. I may very well have commented about it, it seems like something I might have done.  I will look.  It was Dorset that was quoted above.  I do honestly believe that the friends and families of the 4 dead cyclists killed in 2012 might think that number is slightly too high.  WMP have seemingly had a massive effect for a few days work by a handful of officers.  They have publicised what they are doing and this is the genius of their idea.  They have also caught a lot of other people doing iffy things when doing these operations.

I used the word spate in the analogy.  and my examples were those that were on the first page that google threw up.

It does seem from the data that you supplied that it is one hell of a lot safer to be in a car in dorset than on a bike.  Maybe something needs to change.

 

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ktache [627 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

My mistake, it was South Yorkshires Police that I had poured opprobrium on before.  I do apologise for that error.  I am quite happy to condemn Derbyshire and Cheshire and if they had given the obvious victim blaming quote that was up there I would have done.  Try this analogy, we do not educate people to not be a victim of murder, do we now.

I am happy that Thames Valley seem interested. 

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congokid [325 posts] 10 months ago
1 like
ChairRDRF wrote:

congokid - go through your local CyclingUK or cycle campaign group. Try the Council who will have links with police. If no go there, through Police and Crime Commissioner. There may be Safer Transport Teams or Traffic Police who can be contacte directly. Write to them through cycle campaign/CyclingUK group.

Thanks for that. There is no safer transport team but I've emailed the head of the local safer neighbourhood team. I'll also write to my MP (who isn't particularly pro-cycling) as well as the main local cycling club to find out whether they've followed it up yet (I can't imagine they wouldn't be at least interested).

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giff77 [1283 posts] 10 months ago
1 like
djfleming22 wrote:

 

What about the rest of Scotland ..we must be waiting till we are independant from the rest of the UK so that Nicola Sturgeon can say she thought of it first ....

i wouldn't hold my breath on that one. The SNP have had plenty of opportunities to score 'firsts' in regards to road safety for vulnerable road users. Presumed liability was dismissed, 20mph limits are deferred to councils, they came up with a poxy ' give me this much space' campaign which was generally ignored, there's talk of allowing electric vehicles to use bus lanes and they still reckon the 10% target is achievable by 20/20. While much has been done for leisure cycling little to nothing is being done for urban cycling. 

 

Meanwhile I've given up reporting instances to K division as they look at me blankly and mumble something like 'what do you want us to do about it?' While I'm wanting to retort that they catch the scroat beat him to pulp and tip his car into the Clyde!

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severs1966 [415 posts] 10 months ago
2 likes

If Leeds police do this, their "undercover" bike riders will need trauma counselling. They will be astonished at how appallingly badly drivers behave around bike riders, not only close passes.

Trouble is, the Leeds force are so institutionally anti-cyclist, so ingrained in their hatred of bike riders, that they will probably not punish any of the drivers. They will just giving any offenders a "bit of a talking to" while desperately wishing for their bike-riding assignment to end soon.

I expect the officers performing the cycling in Leeds will be assigned to it as a punishment detail.

Leeds will run the scheme and then drop it like a red hot brick after the minimum possible duration has elapsed.