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Near Miss of the Day 487: "This vehicle is turning left" (having first pulled alongside you)

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

Today’s near miss features a driver pulling alongside a cyclist from behind before moving left into the same lane. The sheer lunacy of the manoeuvre is compounded by the presence of a parked vehicle in the cyclist’s lane and the ominous audible warning that, “this vehicle is turning left.” As an unlikely postscript, however, it does seem that it was one occasion where a driver improvement course had some sort of positive effect.

The incident occurred in Holborn, London, in December 2018.

Joel said: “It was without a doubt one of the more frightening bad passes I have had. I could of course hear the ‘this vehicle is turning left’ blaring out, but as the vehicle was pulling up from behind me and I knew that it had been behind me for some way, it never occurred to me for a moment that having drawn alongside in the other lane, that he would then try to pull into my lane on top of me.”

Joel complained to the firm, “and got a canned response, promising to talk to the driver’s department and come back to me – which they never did.”

He also reported it to the Met, who later informed him that the driver had accepted and completed a driving improvement course.

Joel said he felt this was “pretty light” for what the driver had actually done.

“However, a month or so after, I was cycling in roughly the same place – just out of the roundabout and at the start of High Holborn – and got tooted.

“I looked to my right and the same van was passing with a good few metres clearance in the next lane, and clearly wanted me to appreciate how far away he was.

“As my goal in submitting any of these reports is to make the roads safer for myself and others if possible, I'm very happy that there is now at least one much safer driver on the road.”

> 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

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

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OldRidgeback | 3 years ago

I had a driver left hook me when I was on my motorbike last week. I was poodling along in the bus lane (the signs say motorbikes are allowed too) when a van swung into my path to go round a vehicle, despite the fact there was a queue of traffic in front and it was necessary to stop anyway. I hit the brake and the horn and the driver just smiled and waved.

Some people are prats.

Rome73 | 3 years ago

I had very similar recently. The truck was behind, came up alongside me and then left hooked causing me to emergency brake and impact alongside truck side. Needless tp say truck was then stopped in traffic. So i remonstrated with driver 'what you doing?" To which he replied 'f@@k off you c++t I indicated"

So there you have it. 


Brightspark | 3 years ago

Didn't we see exaclty this on an information film a little while ago. I can't find it on this site, perhaps someone else can and provide a link. It showed a lorry overtaking a cyclist then turning left with a cartoon inserted into the sequence.

The advise was to stay back and not pass lorries when they are turning left.

OK, I'll have a go with my troll head on.

1. Well this film is obviously fake because lorries just don't do that. Cyclist, especially in London get squashed because they insist on riding up the inside when the lorry wants to turn left. That why they put that sticker on the back... and sides etc.

2. Well it was obviously the cyclists fault. He should have heard the lorries speaker and stopped and waited. Also as there was a pinch point ahead he should have dismounted and wheeled his cycle past the obstruction.

3. The cyclist should not have raised his voice at the driver of the lorry as this can cause distress. 

Troll mode off, how many points do I get?

Lets hope that this driver has learnt from this and stays safe.

Mungecrundle replied to Brightspark | 3 years ago


Brightspark replied to Brightspark | 3 years ago
nniff | 3 years ago

The Holborn gyratory is one of London's accident blackspots.  The office (I remember those - I used to go there in 'the before time') was just down the road.  If ever I had cause to ride around there (usually on a Santander bike) I would be the biggest thing on two wheels you ever did see - filling as much of every bit of road that I could claim as my own.  

Velo-drone replied to nniff | 3 years ago
1 like

Yes, I took to staying out of the bus lane after that.  There's always something parked in it anyway.  

And I later found a better way from Southampton Row through to High Holborn that avoided the roundabout altogether, so I rarely go through it any more. 

Hirsute replied to nniff | 3 years ago
1 like

How much do you weigh ??!!

the little onion | 3 years ago

Another driver who thinks that an indicator means "move out of my way, or else". Glad the police took some action, at least.

brooksby | 3 years ago

I had a very similar event last week (posted something about it somewhere on  I was in a separated (wands!) cycle lane, then came out of the end of it approaching a pedestrian refuge/pinch point and the end of a queue of motor traffic.

A Tesco lorry which had been somewhere behind me (out of sight, out of mind, but I could hear it) decided to try and overtake (I think - not really sure what the driver thought he was doing).  He ran out of road as he was alongside me, pulled back toward the kerb as he reached the pedestrian refuge.

Then hooted his horn at me for being on his inside.  Even though the only reason I was on his inside was because he had (tried!) to overtake me.

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