Here’s a first for our Near Miss of the Day feature – it’s one filmed by yours truly last week on the new Cycleway 9 in Chiswick, west London, where I almost got right-hooked by a driver, the footage recorded on a GoPro camera I recently treated myself to. There’s a bonus at the start of the clip, too, with a bare-shirted guy on inline skates screaming at pedestrians to get out of his way as he hurtles along the pavement on Chiswick High Road.
First, that right hook. With this stretch of Cycleway 9 only opening to cyclists on the Monday before Christmas, it’s clear that some motorists haven’t yet got used to the new road layout.
More than once, I’ve seen drivers turning right into Chiswick High Road from Turnham Green Terrace (where the branch of Snappy Snaps is at the start of this video above) onto the cycleway itself, which used to be the left-hand traffic lane. All of them have immediately realised their mistake, and quickly changed lanes.
Then, there are situations similar to the one filmed here, where drivers turn across the cycleway itself to access the side streets off Chiswick High Road.
As always, I’d been checking over my shoulder, as well as scanning the oncoming traffic, for exactly this reason so I anticipated what was about to happen – in return, receiving a very apologetic wave from the driver as he passed in front of me.
It’s clear there are some teething issues here, and regarding that right turn from Turnham Green Terrace, I and others have flagged it up on Twitter as a problem that needs addressing to Hounslow Council and London Walking & Cycling Commissioner Will Norman.
And as for that inline skater? I first spotted the bloke, always dressed in maroon harem pants and a blue blazer, a few weeks ago down by the river in Hammersmith, going at a fair lick of speed as he weaved his way in and out of various couples, dogwalkers and parents with young kids.
More recently, I’ve seen him on Chiswick High Road itself, but the yelling seems to be a new addition to his repertoire. A few minutes before I filmed this clip, he was skating much faster along the pavement, shouting out to warn people of his imminent arrival – and, at this point, wearing his jacket.
He then went back the way he came, still at high speed, clutching a takeaway coffee before – for whatever reason, and out of sight, taking his blazer off and wrapping it around his waist and setting off down the pavement again. Maybe the barista had forgotten the sugar?
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.
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.