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Near Miss of the Day 449: Cyclist gets very close pass from driver of bus ... operated by company that has given its drivers close pass training

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

A road.cc reader who saw how a video previously submitted to our Near Miss of the Day feature had resulted in the bus company involved responding to outline the cycle awareness training has shared his own experience of a close pass from a bus driver who works for a firm that has provided similar training.

Martin, who sent in the footage, said: "This is Great Bridge Street in Tipton,. Huge potholes everywhere, blocked cycle lanes on both sides, and an extremely close pass from a double decker bus.

"I actually had to slow down and swerve to avoid it hitting me. My camera is situated in the middle of the handlebars, so it gets a lot closer than the footage indicates.

"This happened on July 27th, but i've only just set the timestamp on my camera."

The bus operator in this case is National Express West Midlands, which a couple of years ago teamed up with West Midlands Fire & Rescue to train its drivers in Coventry on how to share the roads safely with cyclists, including using a close pass mat to show the distance they needed to allow riders when overtaking.

National Express West Midlands

Tom Stables, Managing Director of National Express West Midlands, said at the time: "You can never stop learning about safety. We are constantly looking for innovative ways to make the roads safer for all users.

"Our Coventry bus drivers really appreciated the chance to learn more about this aspect of road safety, especially as many of them are cyclists and motorcyclists too."

Perhaps it's time to give drivers in Tipton a refresher, too?

> 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

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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25 comments

Avatar
iandusud | 3 years ago
2 likes

An awful pass but also a clear demonstration of what a waste of public money painting so-called cycle lanes is and more to the point how it makes the roads more dangerous for cyclists. 

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Billy1mate | 3 years ago
5 likes

That cycle path surface is absolute dog shit, as is the road, that's before we get onto all of the parked vehicles and yes the bus driver needs a rebrief, bloody idiot.

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LetsBePartOfThe... | 3 years ago
4 likes

Here's a better photo of what the cyclist experienced. The bus chopped them. Not sure why this moment was not selected in the earlier comment. Hmmm.

now that the bus drivers have completed their "close pass training", may I highly recommend the anti-close-pass training as a follow-up course 

 

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Mungecrundle replied to LetsBePartOfTheSolution | 3 years ago
6 likes

Here's one from my personal archive. The front part of the bus may pass at a reasonable distance, but then the driver pulls back in before clearing the cyclist. It's not so much the final narrow gap which you might be happy to go through were the bus stationary but the movement of such a large and potentially lethal vehicle coming ever closer to you. Is it going to stop coming or is it going to crush you?

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Hirsute replied to Mungecrundle | 3 years ago
3 likes

Plus you need to take account of the volume of air pushed at you from close distance which can cause a dangerous wobble.

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wtjs replied to Mungecrundle | 3 years ago
3 likes

Here's one from my personal archive

This one of the first on here which looks like Lancashire driving. I am familiar with that degree of bus close passing. This is why it's worse-than-annoying nonsense to make a fuss about the Highway Code 'consultation' when there is no intention to do anything about offences under the old HC, never mind the new one

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Mungecrundle | 3 years ago
1 like

Careful Munge, he might quote HC at you.

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LetsBePartOfThe... replied to Mungecrundle | 3 years ago
4 likes

This is interesting.  
If we look at the photo of the training in the main article. We see the very happy trainees examining the 1.5m gap left by the bus at the driver's end. Job done?

Seems they need to reconvene the next week and train regarding the rear end,   
or drive backwards

they also have not counted a cyclist as having any actual width

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Sriracha | 3 years ago
4 likes

This has been mis-filed, and should be reposted under, "Why don't cyclists use the bloody cycle lanes?!"
Tipton eh? Best luck.

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chrisbarltrop9 | 3 years ago
2 likes

So, has the bus company actually commented on this and particular video? And what of the police? Those of us outside the West Midlands hear a lot about how the Force there is more supportive of close passing - Thames Valley Police recently responded to the deaths of two cyclists on the same day in separate incidents in Reading by cracking down on cyclists riding through the pedestrianised town centre! 
I obviously agree with previous comments about the appalling road surface and pointless cycle lane, plus the bus driver's shocking and dangerous pass. 

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mdavidford | 3 years ago
3 likes

You omitted to mention the worst offence in that video - that horrible squeaking rattle. 

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Jenova20 replied to mdavidford | 3 years ago
2 likes

Apologies, but it's a folding bike, and i've gotten used to the noise. It doesn't make noise on flat surfaces...But this road is obviously not a flat surface.

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Jenova20 replied to mdavidford | 3 years ago
1 like
mdavidford wrote:

You omitted to mention the worst offence in that video - that horrible squeaking rattle. 

Apologies, but it's a folding bike, and i've gotten used to the noise. It doesn't make noise on flat surfaces...But this road is obviously not a flat surface.

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AlsoSomniloquism | 3 years ago
4 likes

Martin, that is awful. No one should have to travel through Tipton. 

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Mungecrundle | 3 years ago
9 likes

I'm actually impressed at the shear tenacity it must have taken to paint all those cycle glyphs in what is obviously a very busy parking bay.

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Jenova20 replied to Mungecrundle | 3 years ago
5 likes

Morning and night the entire road, and it's a long road, is blocked by parked cars. The difference in the evening is that some of them enter traffic without indicating or checking their mirrors, making the entire road a death-trap.

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brooksby | 3 years ago
6 likes

But he wasn't using the cycle lane!

Oh, wait: he couldn't use the cycle lane because of all the motor vehicles parked in it... 

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Hirsute replied to brooksby | 3 years ago
8 likes

You mean there was a cycle lane under those cars? Next you'll be telling me there was a pavement !

That road surface is appalling.

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Jenova20 replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago
1 like

That road is shut for resurfacing about twice a year...And for around 6 weeks at a time!

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brooksby replied to Jenova20 | 3 years ago
1 like
Jenova20 wrote:

That road is shut for resurfacing about twice a year...And for around 6 weeks at a time!

Erm - then what do they do, because they're clearly not actually resurfacing the road...

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Hirsute replied to brooksby | 3 years ago
1 like

They are, just not to the required standard. How else will a contractor make money ?!

 

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Jenova20 replied to brooksby | 3 years ago
1 like
Quote:

Erm - then what do they do, because they're clearly not actually resurfacing the road...

They resurface one section of the road, maybe an eighth at most, and leave the rest to get worse.

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mike the bike replied to Jenova20 | 3 years ago
1 like

 That road is shut for resurfacing about twice a year...And for around 6 weeks at a time!  

The roads, both major and minor, where I live were once as dreadful as yours. Then, seven years ago, the County Council entered a Private Finance Initiative scheme to maintain the highways, footpaths and cycle paths.  This has  resulted in an almost complete transformation of our roads, they are now  amongst the best in the south of England.  And remember, only a cyclist really knows if a road is good.

I know PFI schemes are controversial and I appreciate the ideological reasons why so many people object to them.  But, based on my experience, they work whereas their publicly owned predecessors failed repeatedly.

Perhaps you should lobby your local councillor?

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Hirsute replied to mike the bike | 3 years ago
1 like

How does this PFI differ from paying a contractor to undertake road maintenance under tender arrangements?

Are you sure you mean PFI, as that would mean there would be a transfer of an asset and I don't see how any of those could be privately owned.

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brooksby replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago
3 likes

You're right, I'm sorry - I must get my eyes checked...

(Does anyone know the way to Barnard Castle?)

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