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Councillors call on cops to penalise 'inconsiderate' cyclists riding two abreast 'for their own safety'

Comments come in response to Police Scotland close pass operation

Councillors in Stirling have responded to Police Scotland’s close pass operation by calling for more enforcement on ‘inconsiderate’ cyclists.

The Daily Record reports that a close pass operation conducted in Fallin on June 15 saw five warnings and two fixed penalty notices issued for bad driving behaviour in relation to cyclists.

Labour councillor for Stirling East, Chris Kane, questioned why there weren’t any statistics provided on how many cyclists police stopped.

“To my mind there is a small proportion of both drivers and cyclists who cause the bulk of the problems but we hear about enforcement on inconsiderate drivers much more than enforcement on inconsiderate cyclists,” he said.

“My challenge to Police Scotland is that, given our roads are used by multiple users, we should ensure safety campaigns reflect this.”

While Stirling area commander Chief Inspector Gill Marshall said the force issued as many warnings to cyclists as drivers, Green councillor for Dunblane and Bridge of Allan, Alasdair Tollemache, suggested that officers should also speak to local cycling groups to underline the road safety message.

SNP councillor for Trossachs and Teith, Evelyn Tweed, meanwhile, bemoaned cyclists riding two abreast – even though this is perfectly legal and indeed encouraged in certain circumstances.

She recounted a “horrible drive” in heavy rain, during which she had encountered a group of cyclists riding two or three abreast.

“As the road was busy with traffic, this made it extremely difficult to pass cyclists and led to some unsafe driving as drivers tried to pass and get on with their journey,” she said.

“Drivers undoubtedly have to consider cyclists and their safety but cyclists also have to consider how they are using the roads. In these circumstances, I think they should go single file.”

Tweed said that “cyclists need to use the road responsibly and be aware of their own safety”.

McLoughlin said: “Police aim to give advice to cyclists where possible and our key priority is always the safety of road users. We will, where circumstances dictate, opt for the most appropriate method to get that message across.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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50 comments

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ktache | 4 years ago
0 likes

Ah but brooksby, you are not a "proper" driver, very rarely would they leave on time, most leaving a bit later than they know they really should, hoping beyond hope that today would be that magical day when there was no traffic and congestion, every light would be green and a parking spot would just appear right where they needed it to be at their destination.

Oh and that everyone else on their journey would feel the need to break the speed limit as much as they do.

Let alone their being absolutely no pesky cyclists or pedestrians to get in their way.

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sq225917 | 4 years ago
0 likes

The graphic above assumes that roads are just over two cars wide, and that's often not the case, there are loads of UK roads where two cars anda cyclists can pass simultaneously with no bother at all.

 

There are however a lot of dicks on both sides.

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vonhelmet | 4 years ago
4 likes

I routinely have to deal with groups of 30+ cars and they're often very inconsiderate.

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Morgoth985 | 4 years ago
5 likes

"I didn't want to drive dangerously m'lud, but the cyclists  made me do it!"

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Rik Mayals unde... | 4 years ago
0 likes

I used to go out with a large group. Sometimes it would number 30+. We were always getting grief from drivers who were too impatient to just wait a few moments. I find it much better to go out on my own these days. I get out early, I am lucky to live very close to country lanes so most of my ride is usually on quiet roads and lanes. I commute to work five days a week. When I leave work, there is always a long queue of traffic trying to leave the industrial estate at the same time. I always without fail overtake them all on the right hand side, what surprises me is that there seems to be a growing number of motorists who see me in their door mirrors and pull away from the centre line to give me a bit more room, which is rare, but refreshing. I have also noticed, that although I still get close passed more times than I am comfortable with, I have noticed that more drivers are passing me leaving plenty of room.

What I am trying to say is that although there are still a large number of dickheads behind the wheel, in my experience there does seem to be a shift whereby more drivers are aware of cyclists and give them more room.

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Pilot Pete replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 4 years ago
0 likes
biker phil wrote:

I used to go out with a large group. Sometimes it would number 30+. We were always getting grief from drivers who were too impatient to just wait a few moments. I find it much better to go out on my own these days. I get out early, I am lucky to live very close to country lanes so most of my ride is usually on quiet roads and lanes. I commute to work five days a week. When I leave work, there is always a long queue of traffic trying to leave the industrial estate at the same time. I always without fail overtake them all on the right hand side, what surprises me is that there seems to be a growing number of motorists who see me in their door mirrors and pull away from the centre line to give me a bit more room, which is rare, but refreshing. I have also noticed, that although I still get close passed more times than I am comfortable with, I have noticed that more drivers are passing me leaving plenty of room.

What I am trying to say is that although there are still a large number of dickheads behind the wheel, in my experience there does seem to be a shift whereby more drivers are aware of cyclists and give them more room.

Hmmn, a group of 30+ is very inconsiderate of other road users and likely to cause an ‘impediment to progress’. Groups this size should be split into several smaller groups and leave several hundred metres between each group, just like the Army does in convoy with slower moving vehicles. That is considerate and sensible. Drivers obviously should still not overtake until it is safe to do so, but a number of groups of 8 or 10 cyclists riding two abreast would offer considerably more opportunities for a safe overtake without unduly hindering the progress of motorised traffic.

PP

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crazy-legs replied to Pilot Pete | 4 years ago
3 likes
Pilot Pete wrote:

Hmmn, a group of 30+ is very inconsiderate of other road users and likely to cause an ‘impediment to progress’. Groups this size should be split into several smaller groups and leave several hundred metres between each group, just like the Army does in convoy with slower moving vehicles. That is considerate and sensible. Drivers obviously should still not overtake until it is safe to do so, but a number of groups of 8 or 10 cyclists riding two abreast would offer considerably more opportunities for a safe overtake without unduly hindering the progress of motorised traffic.

PP

Yeah but it's not always easy or possible to do that. It might even be total chance that one group has encountered another, completely unconnected, group out on a ride. Getting one group to push on a bit, one group to hold back and then relying on your good intentions not being interrupted by traffic lights, junctions, slow-moving traffic etc isn't always possible (depends a lot on the groups, the road layout, the amount of traffic etc).

I mean, the analogy is that in rush hour there are thousands of other cars on the roads and it's really slow and how dare they be that inconsiderate, surely they should stagger their journeys or leave several hundred metres between cars?

Funny how drivers will sit in hours of traffic jams a week, sit there at traffic lights completely stationary for 2-3 minutes at a time, follow a tractor for miles along a country lane but see a gorup of cyclists and they have a complete meltdown.

Kind of tired of continually apologising for my existence on the roads to be honest. I do my best to stay out of the way, make life easier for The Hard-Pressed Motorist and I absolutely get the need to be considerate but equally, we do have a right to be on the road too.

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CyclingInBeastMode replied to Pilot Pete | 4 years ago
1 like
Pilot Pete wrote:
biker phil wrote:

I used to go out with a large group. Sometimes it would number 30+. We were always getting grief from drivers who were too impatient to just wait a few moments. I find it much better to go out on my own these days. I get out early, I am lucky to live very close to country lanes so most of my ride is usually on quiet roads and lanes. I commute to work five days a week. When I leave work, there is always a long queue of traffic trying to leave the industrial estate at the same time. I always without fail overtake them all on the right hand side, what surprises me is that there seems to be a growing number of motorists who see me in their door mirrors and pull away from the centre line to give me a bit more room, which is rare, but refreshing. I have also noticed, that although I still get close passed more times than I am comfortable with, I have noticed that more drivers are passing me leaving plenty of room.

What I am trying to say is that although there are still a large number of dickheads behind the wheel, in my experience there does seem to be a shift whereby more drivers are aware of cyclists and give them more room.

Hmmn, a group of 30+ is very inconsiderate of other road users and likely to cause an ‘impediment to progress’. Groups this size should be split into several smaller groups and leave several hundred metres between each group, just like the Army does in convoy with slower moving vehicles. That is considerate and sensible. Drivers obviously should still not overtake until it is safe to do so, but a number of groups of 8 or 10 cyclists riding two abreast would offer considerably more opportunities for a safe overtake without unduly hindering the progress of motorised traffic.

PP

Why does one road user type have less rights to go about their lawful business as a group of people compared to others?

Maybe we should force, not ask motorists not to use vehicles that are 2 metres wide, 4.5m long and greater, maybe we should ban motoring completely or make the road one way where people on bikes are likely to ride if they can't manage to get past other people, or divert to another route to avoid? Sounds familiar right, basically all that and more has been put on those who cycle, pushed off strategic parts of the road network, forced to take meandering/convoluted routes, completely banned from the roads through threat of penalty/conviction.

With all the roads that motorists have to themselves there's no reason why we can't redress the balance, then there'd be no problem at all with having to overtake as one side of the highway would be fine for bi-directional cycling and the other side can be for one way motor driving.

Simple cost free solution and works for everyone.

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alansmurphy replied to Pilot Pete | 4 years ago
1 like
Pilot Pete wrote:
biker phil wrote:

I used to go out with a large group. Sometimes it would number 30+. We were always getting grief from drivers who were too impatient to just wait a few moments. I find it much better to go out on my own these days. I get out early, I am lucky to live very close to country lanes so most of my ride is usually on quiet roads and lanes. I commute to work five days a week. When I leave work, there is always a long queue of traffic trying to leave the industrial estate at the same time. I always without fail overtake them all on the right hand side, what surprises me is that there seems to be a growing number of motorists who see me in their door mirrors and pull away from the centre line to give me a bit more room, which is rare, but refreshing. I have also noticed, that although I still get close passed more times than I am comfortable with, I have noticed that more drivers are passing me leaving plenty of room.

What I am trying to say is that although there are still a large number of dickheads behind the wheel, in my experience there does seem to be a shift whereby more drivers are aware of cyclists and give them more room.

Hmmn, a group of 30+ is very inconsiderate of other road users and likely to cause an ‘impediment to progress’. Groups this size should be split into several smaller groups and leave several hundred metres between each group, just like the Army does in convoy with slower moving vehicles. That is considerate and sensible. Drivers obviously should still not overtake until it is safe to do so, but a number of groups of 8 or 10 cyclists riding two abreast would offer considerably more opportunities for a safe overtake without unduly hindering the progress of motorised traffic.

PP

 

And thos large motorised vehicles where people sit 4 abrest (think it's called a bus) are bigger, slower and stop more frequently. I think they should all spread out into individual vehicles...

 

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brooksby replied to Pilot Pete | 4 years ago
0 likes
Pilot Pete wrote:

Hmmn, a group of 30+ is very inconsiderate of other road users and likely to cause an ‘impediment to progress’. Groups this size should be split into several smaller groups and leave several hundred metres between each group, just like the Army does in convoy with slower moving vehicles. That is considerate and sensible. Drivers obviously should still not overtake until it is safe to do so, but a number of groups of 8 or 10 cyclists riding two abreast would offer considerably more opportunities for a safe overtake without unduly hindering the progress of motorised traffic.

PP

I'd like the motorised traffic to stop unduly hindering my unmotorised progress, thanks 

 

Anecdata - I have to taxi drive my daughter somewhere, every Saturday morning.  Our route appears to be popular with club runs, because we meet various pairs and groups of cyclists on our way.  Its a winding road, with high hedges and few places to pass.  So, I've just started leaving a bit earlier to allow for finding myself behind a club.   And if we do get behind anyone, I just shift down a gear and wait/drive slower.  It's not exactly rocket science...

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crazy-legs | 4 years ago
4 likes

Might move to Scotland. It's clear from the councillors that they've sorted crime, unemployment, living standards, the environment, healthcare and all the other really important things in life and now they can concentrate on the really really minor things that are impinging on the perfection of their nation.

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Hirsute | 4 years ago
2 likes

Don't think I've seen someone quoted so much.
Well done.

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Mungecrundle | 4 years ago
9 likes

I drive an average amount, about 8000 miles a year and I live near Cambridge. I see a lot of cyclists and I really, genuinely cannot recall a single instance in many years of being significantly inconvenienced by a cyclist, or group of cyclists on the road*. Let alone felt the need to overtake dangerously.

1 pavement cyclist but that is a different issue.

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CyclingInBeastMode replied to Mungecrundle | 4 years ago
3 likes
Mungecrundle wrote:

I drive an average amount, about 8000 miles a year and I live near Cambridge. I see a lot of cyclists and I really, genuinely cannot recall a single instance in many years of being significantly inconvenienced by a cyclist, or group of cyclists on the road*. Let alone felt the need to overtake dangerously. 1 pavement cyclist but that is a different issue.

I used to drive quite a lot back in the 90s/early 00s when I worked in/around the South East region with a focus on London and also had to drive to pick my lad up from his mothers in MK about 35 miles away so yearly miles were around 18-24k a year for nearly a decade.

Sometimes I'd have to multi-site in a day so I'd encounter a fair few people on bikes in London even back then and driving across Herts/Beds/Bucks plus a lot of the East Riding but in all that time I never really notice people on bikes in the sense of irritation or inconvenience, they're fairly easy to predict, hugely more so than motorists and it's easier to give them space and get past quicker.

When I'm out on the bike the amount of times I'm held up by divvy motorists who are taking all the lane (so 3-4 abreast at least) is ridiculously high yet that doesn't force me to do something dangerous to the occupent.

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CyclingInBeastMode replied to Mungecrundle | 4 years ago
0 likes
Mungecrundle wrote:

I drive an average amount, about 8000 miles a year and I live near Cambridge. I see a lot of cyclists and I really, genuinely cannot recall a single instance in many years of being significantly inconvenienced by a cyclist, or group of cyclists on the road*. Let alone felt the need to overtake dangerously. 1 pavement cyclist but that is a different issue.

I used to drive quite a lot back in the 90s/early 00s when I worked in/around the South East region with a focus on London and also had to drive to pick my lad up from his mothers in MK about 35 miles away so yearly miles were around 18-24k a year for nearly a decade.

Sometimes I'd have to multi-site in a day so I'd encounter a fair few people on bikes in London even back then and driving across Herts/Beds/Bucks plus a lot of the East Riding but in all that time I never really notice people on bikes in the sense of irritation or inconvenience, they're fairly easy to predict, hugely more so than motorists and it's easier to give them space and get past quicker.

When I'm out on the bike the amount of times I'm held up by divvy motorists who are taking all the lane (so 3-4 abreast at least) is ridiculously high yet that doesn't force me to do something dangerous to the occupent.

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pockstone | 4 years ago
7 likes

I can't remember an occasion when I've 'liked' every comment on a thread...Oh damn, missed one!

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burtthebike | 4 years ago
8 likes

That three councillors from three different parties could be so ignorant and prejudiced, including a Green, is a perfect demonstration of how far we still have to go in persuading those in power that we not only deserve protection, but that cycling is the future.

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thnurg replied to burtthebike | 4 years ago
3 likes

I think I need to stand up for Alasdair Tollemache here (the green councillor, disclaimer: he is a friend of mine). This is the guy who is the founder of Recyke-a-bike in Stirling and a keen cycle campaigner. Knowing what Daily Record journalists are like I suspect his comments have been badly misrepresented. He is certainly not ignornat and prejudiced against cyclists.

burtthebike wrote:

That three councillors from three different parties could be so ignorant and prejudiced, including a Green, is a perfect demonstration of how far we still have to go in persuading those in power that we not only deserve protection, but that cycling is the future.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to thnurg | 4 years ago
7 likes
thnurg wrote:

I think I need to stand up for Alasdair Tollemache here (the green councillor, disclaimer: he is a friend of mine). This is the guy who is the founder of Recyke-a-bike in Stirling and a keen cycle campaigner. Knowing what Daily Record journalists are like I suspect his comments have been badly misrepresented. He is certainly not ignornat and prejudiced against cyclists.

burtthebike wrote:

That three councillors from three different parties could be so ignorant and prejudiced, including a Green, is a perfect demonstration of how far we still have to go in persuading those in power that we not only deserve protection, but that cycling is the future.

I don't suppose you could get a relevant quote from him to set the record straight, could you?

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burtthebike replied to thnurg | 4 years ago
1 like
thnurg wrote:

I think I need to stand up for Alasdair Tollemache here (the green councillor, disclaimer: he is a friend of mine). This is the guy who is the founder of Recyke-a-bike in Stirling and a keen cycle campaigner. Knowing what Daily Record journalists are like I suspect his comments have been badly misrepresented. He is certainly not ignornat and prejudiced against cyclists.

burtthebike wrote:

That three councillors from three different parties could be so ignorant and prejudiced, including a Green, is a perfect demonstration of how far we still have to go in persuading those in power that we not only deserve protection, but that cycling is the future.

I'm glad to hear that, but has he been in touch with the DR to demand a correction?

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brooksby | 4 years ago
18 likes
Quote:

“As the road was busy with traffic, this made it extremely difficult to pass cyclists and led to some unsafe driving as drivers tried to pass and get on with their journey,” she said.

I must admit I really hate it when a busy road has a lane of stored motor vehicles, a lane of moving oncoming motor traffic, and I'm stuck behind a queue of waiting motor traffic.

The parked cars and the oncoming motor traffic conspire to stop me safely filtering past and getting on with my journey, so I'm stuck waiting in the rain listening to the thump-thump-thump of somebody else's car stereo while sucking in their exhaust gases.

I think something should be done about it 

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Oldfatgit | 4 years ago
4 likes

The comments from the SNP councilor aren't worth wasting the effort of tying a response to.

However ...

The complaint against not releasing figures on bad cycling are valid.

If figures for motor vehicle drivers getting done for driving offences are released, then so should any figures on cyclist stops.

If the police have conducted an operation on RLJ and caught 50 cyclists in two days, then release the figures ... There should be nothing and nowhere to hide.

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jollygoodvelo replied to Oldfatgit | 4 years ago
5 likes
Oldfatgit wrote:

The comments from the SNP councilor aren't worth wasting the effort of tying a response to. However ... The complaint against not releasing figures on bad cycling are valid. If figures for motor vehicle drivers getting done for driving offences are released, then so should any figures on cyclist stops. If the police have conducted an operation on RLJ and caught 50 cyclists in two days, then release the figures ... There should be nothing and nowhere to hide.

@MetCycleCops on Twitter frequently do mention the numbers of cyclists they've stopped and spoken to for some infraction or other; inevitably, to a chorus of 'don't you have better things to do' from the audience. 

My experience in London and elsewhere is that many people on bikes *do* run traffic lights, ride inconsiderately, don't have lights etc - but of course they're mostly only risking themselves and potentially pedestrians with an expectation of crossing roads safely.  I don't have a problem with the Met giving such cyclists a little friendly advice - especially if it gives them ammunition to reply to motorists' standard complaint that cyclists all break the rules and never get stopped - but only if it's matched at the same time by significant efforts to reduce motorists endangering other road users.  Fair's fair after all.

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ktache | 4 years ago
28 likes

It really is quite simple to not drive dangerously.

Please never blame others for your choice to drive dangerously.

People who do should really consider their abilities to drive, and maybe hand in their licence.

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hawkinspeter | 4 years ago
16 likes

Okay, so you have life threatening behaviour on one hand and a slight inconvenience on the other.

Guess which one the police are going to prioritise?

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armb replied to hawkinspeter | 4 years ago
4 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

Okay, so you have life threatening behaviour on one hand and a slight inconvenience on the other.

Guess which one the police are going to prioritise?

Depends which service it is. Cambridgeshire police official policy was that motorist convenience was more important than vulnerable road users' safety.

https://www.camcycle.org.uk/blog/2017/10/operation-close-pass/

They have nominally improved since - current policy is that they safety is important, they just don't have the resources to actually do anything much. And that calling something "Operation Close Pass" makes it too obvious what the problem is, so it's "Operation Velo", so drivers can go on thinking that cyclists are the problem.
https://www.cambs.police.uk/news-and-appeals/operation-velo-launch

 

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TeresaDay | 4 years ago
2 likes

As a keen cyclist, I also get irritated when groups of cyclists make it difficult for other road users. It's not easy to get past without driving dangerously.

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Kendalred replied to TeresaDay | 4 years ago
22 likes
TeresaDay wrote:

As a keen cyclist, I also get irritated when groups of cyclists make it difficult for other road users. It's not easy to get past without driving dangerously.

Is this post ironic, or just moronic? Difficult to tell these days.

Assuming the latter...if you have to drive dangerously to overtake, then you don't overtake. It's not rocket science. You have no right to be in front, or to undertake your journey at the speed of your choosing.

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Daveyraveygravey replied to TeresaDay | 4 years ago
18 likes
TeresaDay wrote:

As a keen cyclist, I also get irritated when groups of cyclists make it difficult for other road users. It's not easy to get past without driving dangerously.

 

You and Councillor Tweed should have a think about whether this is true or not.  When you overtake something in a car, you should allow at least as much room for a bike as another car.  That means using the other lane; if the group of cyclists go single file they will be more than twice as long as the same group riding two abreast.  That means all parties are exposed to danger for a longer time.  In a lot of cases, staying two abreast is a better option...

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ThatBritishBloke replied to TeresaDay | 4 years ago
21 likes
TeresaDay wrote:

As a keen cyclist, I also get irritated when groups of cyclists make it difficult for other road users. It's not easy to get past without driving dangerously.

 

Ummm... Then don't drive dangerously. Simples.

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