“Why don’t you use the cycle lane?” That question, usually uttered by an impatient motorist as they drive by (sometimes even when there isn’t a bike path for miles), is one every cyclist will have heard at least once, or maybe twice, on the roads.
Today’s close call – a punishment pass featuring a verbal volley from the overtaking van driver and a rather funky soundtrack – took place on the Priory Road in south-west London, a popular haunt for local cyclists as it leads to Richmond Park.
However, the Priory Road – and in particular its shared pedestrian/cycle path – is also notorious for creating friction between motorists and cyclists who prefer to stay on the road due to, as the road.cc reader who sent us this clip, Tim, explains, the path’s plethora of “bumps, debris, junctions and potential for punctures that even mountain bikes would struggle with”.
In 2015 we reported that a local coffee shop owner was fined for committing a public order offence after launching into an expletive-laden rant against a cyclist riding on the road (and not, to paraphrase the driver, “the effin’ cycle lane”).
There was noticeably less swearing this time around, though the wise-cracking van driver was still issued a notice of intended prosecution by the Met.
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.
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.