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Near Miss of the Day 554: Cyclist “surprised” after police officer who pulled out in front of him does u-turn to lecture him (includes swearing)

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

A ​London cyclist says he was “surprised” after a police officer who had pulled out in front of him in a van then executed a u-turn to follow the rider and give him a lecture about his use of the road.

The bizarre episode happened on Constitution Hill as the cyclist headed from Hyde Park Corner towards Buckingham Palace on the route of Cycleway 3 – keeping to the main carriageway, as he’s allowed to do, rather than the adjacent cycle path on the south side of Green Park.

It was filmed by road.cc user lukei1, who told us: “While certainly not a particularly ‘near’ miss, I was surprised at the Officer's reaction to this whole incident.

“Coming down Constitution Hill in the rain, I could see the Met Police van slowly coming towards the road from the park and took the slow speed he was creeping behind the arches as recognition that he would stop for any traffic before pulling onto the road, especially when he nosed out into the road and came to an almost complete stop. Sadly this was incorrect.

“While using some blue language, I would describe it more as a lament, rather than directed at the driver with any sort of vitriol.

“So to say I was surprised when I turned around to see he was right behind me, having pulled a u-turn to chase me down would be an understatement.

“What followed was not a very fruitful chat, where a worrying amount of cyclist bingo items were ticked off. My personal favourites are:

– He is of course a cyclist as well (2x)

– Accelerating deliberately (downhill after an intersection on an empty road, what a surprise)

– Accusing me of going 30mph (on a steel framed Decathlon with Marathon Plus tyres ...)

– Being belligerent (having turned around to chase me for half a mile ...)

“All in all a strange experience,” he reflected.

“Here's a clip on a slightly lighter note,” he added – sending us a link to this video taken last summer a few hundred yards further east along The Mall … if you’re going to ride through a red traffic light, it’s not the best idea to shoot past a stopped police car …

> 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 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.

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