Today’s offering in our Near Miss of the Day series shows a van driver on the outskirts of Maidstone ignoring a sign instructing him to give way to oncoming traffic at a chicane designed to slow motorists down – and in the process forcing a cyclist who was riding uphill in the opposite direction to swerve to the side to avoid getting hit.
It took place on Spot Lane in Bearsted, a village on the edge of the Kent county town, with the cyclist it happened to telling us: “I was cycling UP the hill- the fat bustards in the van were coming down the hill.”
We took a look on Google Street View at what signage the driver would have encountered coming down the hill ahead of the chicane, and the instruction to give way to oncoming traffic is clear enough, as are the road markings.
Of course, we don’t have to tell you that it’s frustrating enough when you’re in a motor vehicle and a driver coming the other way ignores this kind of sign ... but it’s many times worse when you’re riding a bike uphill and have your momentum destroyed, not to mention possibly having to get your feet out of the pedals pretty sharpish if you’re riding clipless.
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.