Hundreds back initiative that will see mats marking out safe passing distance distributed to police forces across the UK

Cycling UK has taken less than 48 hours to smash a £12,000 target on Kickstarter, where it was raising funds to help police forces across the country roll out close pass campaigns similar to the one launched by West Midlands Police last year.

As we reported on Thursday, the national cyclists’ charity aims to buy 50 ‘close pass mats’ that mark out a 1.5 metre passing distance and which police officers can use to educate drivers about how much room they should give someone on a bike.

> Cycling UK turns to crowdfunding to help roll out close pass initiative to whole country

With the target reached on Friday evening, it will now be able to distribute those to police forces throughout the country, some of which have already welcomed its ‘Too Close For Comfort’ initiative, including Gloucestershire Police.

A spokesperson for the Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership said: “Gloucestershire Police are delighted to be supporting Cycling UK’s clever and imaginative Close-Pass Free Mat Scheme.

“We know how easily a simple mistake like passing too close to a cyclist can either end up putting off a rider or much worse end in tragedy.

“So we are determined to raise the responsibility we all have in sharing the road safely with everybody else, whether they’re in a another car or on a bike.

“We wish Cycling UK every success in this scheme and look forward to running the Close-Pass initiative in Gloucestershire very soon.”

> Close pass policing could be rolled out to 16 forces: is yours one?

Launching the Kickstarter campaign, the charity’s chief executive Paul Tuohy said: “Cycling UK launched ‘Too Close for Comfort’ with the specific aim of raising £12,000.

“With this money, we plan to buy the close pass mats in bulk, which will save close to £28,000, and pass these on for free to our forces.

“If West Midlands’ success is anything to go by, they will help make cycling and our roads safer across the whole UK – that’s surely worth parting with a few bob for!”

Yesterday, after the target had been reached, he added: “Cycling UK launched ‘Too Close for Comfort’ with the specific aim of helping out our cash strapped forces to make our roads that little bit safer for cycling.

“West Midlands’ operation has not only worked, but it’s also gone down well with cyclists, road safety bodies and other police forces. It only makes sense to help give it that little bit of a push to roll it out nationally – and thanks to cyclists across the UK, together we can make our roads safer.”

> West Midlands Police say close pass operation has halved poor overtaking offences