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Near Miss of the Day 867: Cyclist gets squeezed out on country road... police's submission email mixup lets driver get away scot-free

This one from Staffordshire, involving a black Vauxhall, a mysteriously lost evidence submission email, and conflicting information from the neighbouring county's police force...

A cyclist was out enjoying the sun on the country roads of Staffordshire when a black Vauxhall came at him from the opposite side and squeezed him off the road, almost into the foliage, which was then followed by a case of a mysteriously disappearing email by the police to submit evidence.

In the video, before the incident takes place, two drivers can be seen passing Rob Edwards. "They gave me plenty of room, but then this driver comes up, who should have seen me from 100 meters away, as I did them and they had plenty of room to move over. They just continued on driving as if nothing had happened" he told

"I think they probably didn't see me, or wasn't driving with due care, or maybe it was deliberate, who knows," he said. "But what I can tell you is that I feared for my safety in the split second I had to take evasive action."

The incident took place on 6th August last year on Marston Lane, between Hilton and Rolleston-On-Dove, right on the border where Staffordshire meets Derbyshire. As is evident from the video, there is plenty of room to the driver's left for both him in his car and Mr Edwards on his bike to pass each other safely.

After the close pass, Mr Edwards reported it to the Staffordshire Police on the same day. However, since their system didn't provide the option to upload footage at the same time as reporting it, he had to wait for the police to get back to him with a link to add evidence. 

But he never ended up receiving it. After chasing it with them, he did eventually receive the link, the police stated that because 14 days had passed since then, they were no longer able to anything about it.

Mr Edwards then spoke to Derbyshire Police, who he had earlier reported another near miss with successfully, and they told him that if it was reported in time and the delay was because of obtaining evidence, they can still take action.

"They handled a case for me earlier which happened on their turf, so I have a bit more confidence in them," Mr Edwards said.

> Near Miss of the Day 855: Driver dangerously overtakes on the wrong side… is let off the hook by the police because she lives abroad reached out to Staffordshire Police to explain their side of things, and they said: "We received a report via our website on 8 August 2022, reporting a driver passing too close to a cyclist in in the Rolleston area of Staffordshire.

"We sent an email to the person who reported the incident on the same day confirming we had received his report and sent a further email to the same address which contained a secure link to our evidence portal website. The email said that the link would expire after three days. The footage had not been received by 12 August.

"After another call from the person reporting, a further link was emailed on 30 August and we received the footage but the 14-day notice of intended prosecution date had expired. We sent an advisory letter to the registered keeper of the car."

Mr Edwards, who works in IT, maintained that he didn't receive any email from them. He said: "It never arrived in my inbox, or spam. These were thoroughly checked.  I suspect either they didn't send it and are covering up their incompetence, or they sent it to the wrong person. It never came to me, emails don't just disappear."

"If they were able to provide proof they sent the email, as in a time stamped copy of the sent email, I might put it down to a mystery. However as anything sent to my inbox would have been seen by me.

"Even if I perhaps deleted it by mistake, it would have sat in the bin for 30 days, as does anything that goes to spam. An extensive search of all email folders around 30th August produced nothing, so concluded it was never sent to me.  Yet when they sent the link to me on the 30th, it came straight away."

> Near Miss of the Day turns 100 – Why do we do the feature and what have we learnt from it?

Over the years 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] or send us a message via the 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

Adwitiya joined in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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sullyvsn | 10 months ago

All of these police departments seem to need to hire some workers that know what they are doing with IT, computer systems, videos, and even the regular mail.  So many times, drivers getting off with no penalty because the police mucked up the process / prosecution.

wtjs replied to sullyvsn | 10 months ago

All of these police departments seem to need to hire some workers that know what they are doing with IT
Not if the aim is to make sure that nothing is done about such offences, which it is

ubercurmudgeon | 11 months ago

At least we now know what to do if an example of bad driving coincides with a royal visit to your local area. Just tell the police that you thought you saw a load of anti-monarchy banners on the back seat of the car. Instead of mysterious disappearing emails and spurious 14-day deadlines, they'll rush round and put the driver in the cooler for 16 hours, and ask him questions later.

paul_Onabike | 11 months ago

I know this road well, and you have to look well ahead to see what's coming - whether cycling or driving, as two cars can't pass on the carriageway, only within the passing places.  There is no way the driver did not see the cyclist long before they passed, and you would not deliberately drive over to the right because of the sightlines. That was 100% deliberate. I've had drivers hold the centre of the carriageway plenty of times in the past, but never one keep to the right.

I wouldn't take it too much to heart about the lack of a prosecution though. If this had happened on the Derbyshire side, they would have only got a warning letter anyway - as they won't prosecute close passes either from behind or from the front.

As others have noticed, that barbed wire is very close to the carriageway, and doesn't leave you much of an escape route should the need arise.

Bungle_52 | 11 months ago

A very disappointing response from the police. I recently cycled from Bilbao to Pamplona in Spain. ALL the drivers were courteous ALL of the time. They all overtook on the other side of the road, not one scare at all. It could be that drivers have more respect for cyclists there but I am convinced it's down to police action. This is yet another example of woeful response by our police force. I know they are short staffed and under pressure but surely acting on video evidence submitted by the public would be a very cost effective way of policing our roads. It's also very disappoining that that an advisory letter is better than we would get from some forces.

Thanks to Rob for taking the time and trouble to report it, for following it up and for sharing it with us. I'd also like to congratulate him on his cycling ability. I'm not sure I would have done so well.

Finally, this should be NMOTD 867!

KentRider | 11 months ago

That was abysmal driving. The driver left it to pure luck that there wasn’t a serious collision. Rob did well to stay upright. Rural lanes like that typically have very poor surface where it meets the verge (as illustrated in several places in the footage), and being forced hard to the edge like that is hazardous in itself, even if you avoid the oncoming car.

The video also illustrates one of my main bugbears of how so many people drive on rural lanes. There was a passing place on the driver’s left just a few metres before the point of interaction. Obviously, this particular driver had no care at all for any other road user, but even among those that do have the politeness to slow down a bit for oncoming cyclists, only a tiny proportion have the patience to wait for a second or two in the passing place to enable the pass to occur at a wider part of the road. Most of my riding is on rural lanes like this, and the number of narrow passes that are forced on me by oncoming drivers just a metre or so after they have gone by a passing place is exasperating.

HoarseMann | 11 months ago

There looks to be a barbed wire fence within the foliage, complete with stake shaped posts. That could have been very nasty.

Owd Big 'Ead | 11 months ago


That is woeful in the extreme.

However, living and riding within the locale I can assure others that this is far from the odd instance of utterly useless driving. Quite a few times I've literally flung myself off my bike to ensure I get off the tarmac while either speeding hot-hatchers or drivers of wank-panzers barrel down the local lanes with absolutely no regard for anybody else using the roads.

Sevenfold | 11 months ago

Same thing happened to me. Submitted via the website & told by phone an email would be sent with a link to attach the video footage. No email received, phoned to try & find out what happened to it. Could not trace the submission I sent in but gave the registration of the vehicle & was told that they would look it & get back to me. Needless to say, heard nothing.

danhopgood replied to Sevenfold | 11 months ago

I think this is symptomatic of the current state of the UK.  Public services starved of funds to the point they don't function, combined with law breaking leaders who are sending a message by their actions to those who might do the same...

open_roads replied to danhopgood | 11 months ago

The police have record funding and a record number of officers in most forces.

The turnaround of Greater Manchester Police in the last 2 years pretty much proves what's missing in many forces is effective leadership, good use of resources and focussing on low level crime as a deterrent to more serious crimes.

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