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Near Miss of the Day 644: Skip lorry driver almost hits two cyclists

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

The video featured in our Near Miss of the Day series today shows the heart-stopping moment when a pair of cyclists are confronted with the driver of a skip lorry coming the other way on a narrow road with cars parked on the near side of the vehicle, squeezing both riders between the lorry and a hedge and somehow not hitting either of them.

The incident, filmed by reader Cyclocelestial, happened in Mortimer, Berkshire on 7 October.

“The driver started to overtake the parked cars before the two cyclists came into view but could have applied the brakes and moved towards the gap on the left,” Cyclocelestial said.

“It was not reported to the police but I reported it to a manager at R. Collard in Reading who agreed to speak to the driver about it.

“However he did not want to see the video as ‘we have a camera in the cab’.”

Incidents of this type often attract comments along the lines of how the cyclists should perhaps have anticipated the approaching vehicle and pulled over to let it past.

It’s easy to take such a view when you watch the footage, but in a live scenario things are seldom that clear-cut.

For example, while the camera is facing straight ahead and recording what’s happening, that may not necessarily be what the cyclist is seeing in real time, and they may not have seen the lorry straight away.

There’s also the fact that in this instance the cyclists are riding at a decent clip and by the time the situation has been assessed and a decision made over what action to take, it may be too late, not to mention too dangerous, to try to brake in time for the skip lorry driver to clear those parked cars.

> 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

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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