“Fed up and a bit scared” of the number of close passes he had been experiencing on his weekend rides, Steven Piper decided to create an online tool to track and record close passes. You can find it at closepass.cc.
The founder of Southsea-based Si Digital told road.cc that he hopes to gather sufficient data to share with planners and the highways agency.
“There were a few incidents that got me thinking about building the site,” said Piper. “There’s a lovely climb near me, Harting Hill in Hampshire, where I had two close passes during the climb – one by a Lamborghini who didn't want to dent his car against another car. On other rides I've had double decker buses passing me within half a metre – the bus must have been going 50mph.
“As a mostly weekend cyclist, averaging four hours on a Sunday, I typically get one dangerous close pass on every ride, if not more.
“I thought that by collating enough data we may be able to find a trend. Are there particular sections of roads – pinch points, climbs, tight bends – where close passes happen more often? Are there particular times of the day when they are more frequent?”
The tool itself is fairly self-explanatory. You sign up, click on the map to mark the location of the close pass and then enter the time and date of the incident.
Piper says that the tool logs the latitude and longitude of the event. “There are data sources we can then cross reference at a later date where we could look up the road type, speed limit etc.”
The hope is that should enough people make use of the tool, there will be sufficient data to identify close pass blackspots – information that could then be shared with relevant organisations.
It may also be that cyclists might want to use the map to steer clear of certain roads and Piper points out that he has therefore used a map type that shows bike shops, cafes and pubs.