Today’s video in our Near Miss of the Day series shows the moment a cyclist was almost hit by a motorcyclist undertaking him just as the lights changed at a west London junction that had been due to be remodelled to make it safer for cyclists until the local council suddenly withdrew support for the proposals two years ago.
The incident happened on Notting Hill Gate with Pembridge Road, with Axolotl, who posted the footage to his YouTube channel, saying: “I had no idea he was there until he was beside me because of the sound of the other motorcycle.”
He caught up with the motorcycle rider at the next set of lights, asking him, “What was that about, mate?”
“You do like that,” said the motorcyclist, gesturing with his hand that Axolotl had cut across him.
“I’m going to the middle of the lane,” the cyclist replied. “You shouldn’t overtake on that side.”
At another set of lights further up towards the junction with Kensington Palace Gardens, he continued, indicating to his left: “The other bike was already here, and I was going to the middle of the lane, mate, you can’t overtake on this side.
Notting Hill Gate had been due to undergo an overhaul to improve cycle safety through the construction of a segregated cycleway that would have run from the Shepherds Bush roundabout via Holland Park Avenue and continuing towards Kensington Gardens.
In Notting Hill Gate itself, the cycleway would have run along the southern side of the carriageway and through the junction where Axolotl had the near miss – shown in the plans below from TfL – removing conflict between cyclists and other road users.
However, in June 2019, in a decision described as “a disgrace” by London’s walking and cycling commissioner Will Norman, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea withdrew its support for the scheme even before a consultation – which would find 70 per cent public support for the proposals – had been completed.
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.