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Near Miss of the Day 692: Lorry driver pushes in front at roundabout — police take no action...but advise cyclist on Highway Code

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

Today in our Near Miss of the Day series, we're in Oxfordshire for an impatient HGV driver pushing their way in front of a cyclist at a double roundabout (plus a strange response from Thames Valley Police).

road.cc reader Tom told us this one, which starts at around 2 minutes 30 seconds into the video, happened on his commute from Thame to Oxford. As he crosses the M40 and A40, Tom has to negotiate this double roundabout where the lorry driver was not too keen to wait for a safe place to pass.

"As you can see in the video a Maritime HGV driver pulls up alongside me at the first roundabout and then moves across me through the second roundabout without indicating," Tom told us.

"They definitely know I'm there and there's added irony when you can see the 'cyclists beware' sticker on the back of the trailer..."

Having sent the video to Thames Valley Police, Tom was told 'no further action will be taken on this occasion'.

He did, however, get sent some advice from Rule 76 and 77 of the Highway Code relating to roundabouts...

Roundabouts can be hazardous and should be approached with care. You may feel safer walking you cycle round on the pavement or verge. If you decide to ride round keeping to the left-hand lane you should:

- Be aware that drivers may not easily see you
- Take extra care when cycling across exits. You may need to signal to show you are not leaving the roundabout
- Watch out for vehicles crossing your path to leave or join the roundabout

"Essentially, I wanted to see the opinion of road.cc readers on what to do next," Tom continued. "Am I in the wrong here and the Police right? Are the police blaming me for nearly being sideswiped?"

> 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

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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53 comments

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qwerty360 | 2 years ago
2 likes

I suspect doing anything against the lorry would be difficult given the road markings are poor (so is a relatively easy mistake) even if they should have been checking (and remembered that they just passed a cyclist who is probably somewhere in a blind spot...)

However I would argue that:

1. The police should be forwarding it to the HW agency (Inconsistent markings = hazard, with clear evidence)

2. The response refers to several parts of the HW code that are totally irrelevant to the issue at hand. So all they do is make it appear as victim blaming.

3. It is far too common in my opinion to try and squeeze an extra lane in to avoid blocking up junctions, only to create safety issues because it is difficult to know which lane you should be in. I suspect fixing the junction in this incident to make it clear would require removing lanes that create confusion/conflict. (I live south of Heathrow; Occasionally visit Uxbridge; Coming back there are several (4 iirc) junctions in a row where I haven't managed to follow my intended route once (even satnav doesn't appear to know which lanes should be used) (n.b. fortunately for me going 'wrong' makes little/no difference to actual travel time/distance to go around heathrow, but regularly see vehicles struggling to try and move to correct lane in short sections between junctions (despite having followed previous signage)

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john1967 | 2 years ago
0 likes

Rule 167

DO NOT overtake where you might come into conflict with other road users. For example..........

 

stay behind if you are following a cyclist approaching a roundabout or junction, and you intend to turn left

 

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wycombewheeler replied to john1967 | 2 years ago
0 likes
john1967 wrote:

Rule 167

DO NOT overtake where you might come into conflict with other road users. For example..........

 

stay behind if you are following a cyclist approaching a roundabout or junction, and you intend to turn left

 

who is turning left here?

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OldRidgeback | 2 years ago
5 likes

On the other hand, there were quite  lot of fairly considerate passes from car and van drivers there.

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BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP replied to OldRidgeback | 2 years ago
2 likes

I noticed that too. 

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hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
4 likes

I'd be inclined to complain about the police response, but I don't think the lorry incident was particularly bad (not great though).

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Muddy Ford | 2 years ago
1 like

I wouldn't fancy that commute, is there really no alternative quieter and safer route? Lorry was in the wrong but I expect you'd get a lot of these wrongs on this bit of road. People heading or getting off a motorway will be driving angry. Good luck to you.

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mdavidford replied to Muddy Ford | 2 years ago
2 likes

You could head down to Great Milton (not a great road either - plenty of lorries on a road that's not really suited to them) and then back up to join the original route near Wheatley, adding a couple of miles and a bit of hill to your journey. Or from GM you could head more directly towards Oxford on roads that are liable to be flooded / covered in muck, and add a bit more hill. The options aren't great for a commute, tbh.

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BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP replied to Muddy Ford | 2 years ago
1 like

Me neither. I was nervous just watching the Utube clip. That was a really horrible bit of road - imagine it on a rainy, winter evening.  

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TriTaxMan | 2 years ago
5 likes

I'm not sure the lorry driver did anything particularly badly, in so far that they completed the pass on the cyclist before he begins to move across.  Whether or not that was due to the poor road markings with the lane the lorry was in which initially said straight on and right changed further down the road to being a right arrow coupled with potential unfamiliarity with the road.

There may have been an element of carelessness by the lorry given the multiple roundabout layout and not knowing that the were going to be able to pass the cyclist fully between the two roundabouts..... but they could have thought that the lane they were in was going to continue beyond the 2nd roundabout given the road markings.

And at the point the lorry starts to move across, if I was in the same position as the cyclist, I would already have been braking as my view of the roundabout was restricted and also would have been wary that the lorry may take a wider line even if they were going round the roundabout.

All in all I think that the police were correct in not taking further action against the driver, however, the reply to the cyclist was not helpful in the situation.

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wycombewheeler replied to TriTaxMan | 2 years ago
0 likes
TriTaxMan wrote:

 they completed the pass on the cyclist before he begins to move across. 

Really? the cyclist was still beside the trailor.

or do you mean complete the pass before the cyclist moves across? when the cyclist has been forced to slow down?

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Sriracha | 2 years ago
2 likes

You submitted the video to the wrong people - it should have gone to Highways England or the local council, depending on which one is supposed to maintain the road surface.

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makadu | 2 years ago
1 like

I believe whilst the truck driver was an asshat for cutting up the cyclist, I am also not convinced he endangered the cyclist, so perhaps TVP were correct.

The road layout does not help, I can't help but think the contractors screwed up as you can see from the google street view approaching the second roundabout where there are two lanes, the left lane indicates straight on and left arrows whilst the right lane indicates it is for straight on and right. Shortly after this lane one splits and indicates straight on for both and the right hand lane changes to being right only. 

So exiting the previous roundabout you might believe you are in the correct lane for going straight on as indicated by the arrows on the road and then find at the last moment you are now in a right only lane.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.7399659,-1.0957967,3a,75y,259.91h,72.65t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sna7QQiLFI4VKWe6NhZNj2Q!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?hl=en

 

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jh2727 replied to makadu | 2 years ago
0 likes
makadu wrote:

I believe whilst the truck driver was an asshat for cutting up the cyclist, I am also not convinced he endangered the cyclist, so perhaps TVP were correct.

The road layout does not help, I can't help but think the contractors screwed up as you can see from the google street view approaching the second roundabout where there are two lanes, the left lane indicates straight on and left arrows whilst the right lane indicates it is for straight on and right. Shortly after this lane one splits and indicates straight on for both and the right hand lane changes to being right only. 

So exiting the previous roundabout you might believe you are in the correct lane for going straight on as indicated by the arrows on the road and then find at the last moment you are now in a right only lane.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.7399659,-1.0957967,3a,75y,259.91h,72.65t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sna7QQiLFI4VKWe6NhZNj2Q!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?hl=en

 

I was going to post the exact same thing.  They either need to repaint the first markings for the right hand lane as right turn only or repaint the later lane markings such that the the left lane continues as a single lane and the right hand lane opens into a straignt lane and a right turn lane.

As it stands, the two sets of markings contradict each other.

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IanMSpencer | 2 years ago
0 likes

The road surface was so bad I assume they've subcontracted maintenance to Solihull Council, it has their level of expertise.

Aside from a number of close passes, I was less than impressed by the overtakes at a junction with a vehicle waiting to emerge. They often fixate on the bike and pull out not accounting for overtaking traffic.

To be honest, sticking in a bit of victim blaming if you like, knowing that section of road as an M40 user, it is not a place I would choose to cycle... not that there is an obvious alternative, but a road which is a motorway feeder seems to inspire even more impatience than normal.

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mdavidford replied to IanMSpencer | 2 years ago
4 likes
IanMSpencer wrote:

The road surface was so bad I assume they've subcontracted maintenance to Solihull Council

We in Oxfordshire are not familiar with this word, 'maintenance' - can you explain?

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to IanMSpencer | 2 years ago
0 likes

Or vice versa and a road what has been fed from a Motorway so they are "used" to driving at higher speeds. 

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0-0 | 2 years ago
1 like

I had to give up watching half way through, due to motion sickness.
Why mount a camera at 45 degrees (and on a jelly)?
I hope this isn't a new trend. People shooting video in portrait orientation is bad enough.

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Jimmy Ray Will | 2 years ago
4 likes

I fully understand why no further action was deemed necessary here. As already touched on, the infrastructure arguably let the lorry driver down, and at no point was the cyclist excessively squeezed or placed in any real danger. 

To me, this looks like a case where the cyclist was inconvenienced by the actions of the lorry driver, nothing more. 

Why did the cyclist need to change lane at that point? At no point does their right hand leave the brake lever, so no indication was made signalling an intention to turn right, and the left lane was signed for straight on. Therefore unless the intention was to turn right, the cyclist's lane change was unnecessary, and if it was necessary to turn right, that intention was never indicated to the lorry driver by the cyclist.

 

 

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 2 years ago
4 likes

I don't think you know the difference between a lane change and a lane split. Cyclist was well within the rights to use either lane when it split without indicating. Lorry was actually changing lanes. 

As for any signal of intent to move right, the lorry is already creeping past the cyclist as soon as they both exited the first roundabout so any signal from the cyclist wouldn't have been seen as he was in the very large blind spots he was warned about by the label on the back. 

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HoarseMann replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
1 like
AlsoSomniloquism wrote:

Cyclist was well within the rights to use either lane when it split 

Lane markings at roundabouts are only advisory, there's no 'right'.

Tom not keeping left and following proper lane discipline could be seen as a contributary factor. There's also no requirement for the lorry to signal the lane change,  as they're moving left after an overtake.

It's poor driving by the lorry, but not helped by the bad markings and unusual lane choice of the cyclist.

I can see why the police are not taking action. Tom would be better off putting effort into getting the road markings improved.

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IanMSpencer replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
1 like

You can get yourself a driving without due consideration offence if you believe that.

One of the examples in the sentencing guidelines is using a lane marked for a different direction to pass other motorists.

With regards to the lane selection, it is a complex roundabout with more than 3 other exits so I would assume that the cyclist is taking a lane that fits with their knowledge of where traffic is meant to be, especially avoiding a left hook of cars and lorries heading into the services. So the suggestion he is not following proper lane discipline and should have kept left doesn't follow from what we see.

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HoarseMann replied to IanMSpencer | 2 years ago
0 likes
IanMSpencer wrote:

You can get yourself a driving without due consideration offence if you believe that.

I'm not saying it's ok to use the wrong lane, only it's not a specific offence, just shows what is 'appropriate'. An offence needs to inconvenience someone, like the example you give of using it to pass other traffic.

Ahead-only, left-turn only are not advisory though (hence the word 'must')!

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Jimmy Ray Will replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
0 likes

I hear you, but would counter with;

 - The cyclist was free to chose to move lane without indication, but my question was/is, why chose to move into that lane and not continue in the leftmost lane? No signal was given suggesting a right turn was needed, so I can only assume it was because the right lane was a more direct and faster line through the roundabout.  

- The difference is that the lorry had to change lanes (as mentioned, poor infrastructure), whilst the cyclist actively chose to do so.

- Whist the lorry was unlikely to see the cyclist signalling in his blind spot, vehicles behind the cyclist could certianly see, and therefore, if the cyclist was intending to turn right, would have needed to have signalled.

My questionning around lack of signel was simply attempting to understand the cyclists placement, rather than exonerating the lorry driver.

 

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mdavidford replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 2 years ago
1 like
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

Why did the cyclist need to change lane at that point?

They didn't change lane. The leftmost lane that they were in effectively became the centre lane, with another lane being added to the left of it.

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Jimmy Ray Will replied to mdavidford | 2 years ago
1 like

I think that further highlights the focus should be on the infrastructure. 

My perception is that the left lane split in two, and the cyclist chose to move into the righthand lane as it appeared, rather than continue in the left lane he was orignally in.

The fact we can see that differently demonstrates the limitation of the road infrastructure. for me it would make far more sense for the lane the lorry was travelling in to split into two, rather than the far left lane. 

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Bucks Cycle Cammer | 2 years ago
4 likes

Really bad advice from the police here.  Rule 77 applies *IF* a cyclist or horse rider decides to stay in the left lane as allowed under Rule 187 - which puts responsibility on other road users to watch out for riders doing just that.

And that's before we consider that this was not even on the roundabout, but a change of lane (without indication or ensuring the target lane is clear) prior to it. I can only imagine the driver thought you'd be moving to the other lane, but that does not absolve them of responsibility - especially in an HGV.

If I thought you'd get anywhere with TVP, I'd suggest putting a complaint in. At the least, I'd ask exactly what advice they are attempting to give you and how it relates to this situation.

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sensei | 2 years ago
3 likes

Standard inaction that we've come to expect from the Police unfortunately, though, I thought the Blue Tesla was a worse close pass (although probably less frightening compared to a HGV).

 

 

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Fursty Ferret replied to sensei | 2 years ago
1 like

I thought exactly the same thing.

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SaveTheWail replied to sensei | 2 years ago
0 likes

The problem with trying to report this one could be that it's impossible to read the registration plate - typical of a Drift Ghost camera.

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