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Near Miss of the Day 453: Punishment pass on two-abreast cyclists

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

One of the most common complaints against cyclists that you will read on social media or in the comments section of local newspapers is that they are riding two abreast, even though that is perfectly legal - but it does seem to have become embedded among a certain section of the motoring public that it's not allowed, and that riders doing so are breaking the rules. 

Which leads us up to this punishment pass by a van driver on a pair of cyclists riding side by side on the A4 between Chippenham and Bath - what's more, one made just as the riders were moving into single file to allow for a safe overtake.

The video was shot by reader Jody, who said: "We were chatting while keeping a keen eye out for cars behind, ready to drop into single line at the first thought of hindrance to anyone really.

"That wasn’t enough for one Traffic van diver however, who chose to hold their high speed pass with a horn blast throughout, as they skimmed their 2-tonne-at-least vehicle past my shoulder, in - I guess - punishment, for the perceived infraction.

"On the plus side, the view over the hill was beautiful. Angry driver was probably chewing their steering wheel at that point, so may have missed it."

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

Over the years 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] or send us a message via the 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 has been news editor at 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.

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