Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Near Miss of the Day 292: Left hooks at same junction on London's Cycle Superhighway 2

Our regular series featuring close passes from around the country - today it's London...

Today's videos in our Near Miss of the Day series show one of the potential flaws with protected cycle infrastructure - motorists turning across them to access side roads and in doing so putting cyclists using the bike lane in danger.

The video above was filmed on London's Cycle Superhighway 2, one of the original blue-painted, unprotected routes that subsequently had physical protection in the form of kerbing added along much of its length following several fatalities.

But as you can see, where the kerbing stops before and after a side junction, there is the risk of getting left-hooked.

It was filmed by road.cc reader Lukas, who told us: 

“While being highly impressed with the Met Police on most submissions, they seem to have some blind spots, in this case cars crossing cycleways.

“The initial police response was that no offence was committed as "...the vehicle is in front of you and indicating left you should have given way to allow it to turn. We are therefore unable to pursue this allegation."

“This seemed to contradict Highway Code 183 which says: ‘When turning, give way to any vehicles using a ... cycle lane’.

“Annoyed that this kind of seemingly dangerous driving was going unpunished, I then submitted a formal complaint, with the reviewing officer deciding that ‘an offence of driving without reasonable consideration was committed by the driver’.

“So far so good, although it was too late to prosecute the driver,” he added.

Lukas also sent us video of another incident which happened at the very same junction last week.

“Thankfully the driver stopped for me but then cut off a cyclist behind,” he said. “I reported this again, assuming this would count as an offence, but after an email back and forth, the Met stated ‘The car in question was indicating in advance which you can also see from your position and therefore the cyclist behind should have had sufficient time to be aware of the vehicle’s intention and slow down to avoid unnecessary danger.

“’The Highway Code [rule] 183 refers to cyclists on the drivers inside which he does comply with by allowing you to pass, however they are not expected to stop to give way to every cyclist behind them as well because they have to keep with the flow of traffic otherwise risk causing an obstruction’,” the response added.

“I am disappointed the Met believe drivers can cut across cycle lanes without giving way to everyone that is using the cycle lane, apart only those that would be in physical danger. And that seemingly, the flow of road traffic is more important than the flow of the cycle lane.

“While they seem to ruthlessly pursue mobile phone users and red light jumpers, which is great, they seem to be giving drivers a lot of leeway in this particular case.

“Any driver turning across traffic, which causes other vehicles to slow down to avoid hitting them would surely be guilty of an offence,” Lukas added.

> Near Miss of the Day turns 100 - Why do we do the feature and what have we learnt from it?

Over the years road.cc has reported on literally hundreds of close passes and near misses involving badly driven vehicles from every corner of the country – so many, in fact, that we’ve decided to turn the phenomenon into a regular feature on the site. One day hopefully we will run out of close passes and near misses to report on, but until that happy day arrives, Near Miss of the Day will keep rolling on.

If you’ve caught on camera a close encounter of the uncomfortable kind with another road user that you’d like to share with the wider cycling community please send it to us at info [at] road.cc or send us a message via the road.cc Facebook page.

If the video is on YouTube, please send us a link, if not we can add any footage you supply to our YouTube channel as an unlisted video (so it won't show up on searches).

Please also let us know whether you contacted the police and if so what their reaction was, as well as the reaction of the vehicle operator if it was a bus, lorry or van with company markings etc.

> What to do if you capture a near miss or close pass (or worse) on camera while cycling

> What to do next if you’ve been involved in a road traffic collision

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

Latest Comments