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Near Miss of the Day 758: Council apologises for “embarrassing” close pass (video includes swearing)

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

A cyclist who was on the receiving end of a very close pass by the driver of a van belonging to Brighton & Hove City Council received an apology from a council official, who acknowledged how “embarrassing” the footage was, given its aim to make roads safer for cyclists and other vulnerable road users.

Tom, the reader who submitted the footage, told us: “I was on my usual commute from Brighton to Lewes. I submitted a report to Sussex Police's Operation Crackdown but never heard anything other than the initial automated response.

“I also emailed Brighton and Hove Council and I did receive a nice reply from their road safety officer [see below]. I never heard anything else from anyone after this.

“I’ve caught lots of near misses on camera however I think this one captures the sudden nature and ‘closeness’ of the pass very well,” Tom continued.

“The road runs parallel to a main road, and just after an underpass, making it particularly difficult to judge how close a vehicle is.

“There was no oncoming traffic, it was a blind bend with a speed limit of 20mph,” he added.

A council official told Tom that the driver had been traced and would be spoken to about the incident.

“We do have a driving for work policy, obviously highlighting the need to be aware and cognisant of the needs of vulnerable road users such as cyclists,” the official said. 

“As Road Safety I have been encouraging our fleet to put their drivers through the Safer Urban Driving CPC course (although with the class of vehicle passing you the driver does not need a CPC). 

“We were hoping to start this before the pandemic took grip but it has disrupted this amongst many things.  I have raised this again – it puts drivers in the position of cyclists for a half day in the centre of the city, with appropriate instruction, to fully understand the problems cyclists have.

“We do want to encourage riders onto the streets and are fully aware how embarrassing this is,” the official added.

> 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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Seagull2 | 1 year ago

While the pass was appalling , how is it possible for there to be broken white lines on that section of road ? The cyclists view is better than the motorists, and there is hardly any view of the traffic that is likely travelling at significant speed towards them 

AlsoSomniloquism replied to Seagull2 | 1 year ago
1 like

Road is 20mph. Of course that means nothing in "real" terms as a car could still travel along it as fast as they want but usually means solid whites are not used at those posted speeds.

Edit: Although either the paint wears out pretty fast or this NMOTD was from before August 2021 as the paint is worn like the video in the April 2021 shot but August shows some newly painted 20 road markings on both lanes. (Not that it matters really). 

Double Edit: Interesting footpath markings around the corner. Methinks the business there might have had something to do with that. Can't have pesky cyclists blocking the road that their cars want to turn down. Strangely don't see a no walking sign on the other side. 

Fignon's ghost | 1 year ago
1 like

That was nasty. That cnut has no excuse. This fucker is a liability. Keep the pressure on. Should be in chains.

grOg | 1 year ago
1 like

Homicidal close pass.. actionable by police for sure and a sackable offence.

Owd Big 'Ead | 1 year ago

Terrible pass, one of the worst ive seen on here, as it was needless due to the empty road.

I'd drop Caroline Lucas an email at the House's of Parliament. Brighton is her constituency. I'm pretty sure she'd be horrified by both the local council and police response.

hawkinspeter | 1 year ago

I appreciate the response from the Council, but this is a very dangerous pass and the police need to step up and do something. This driver needs to be taken off the roads until they can learn how to not put people in danger.

Sriracha replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago

It's like attending a shooting party, and some idiot has nearly taken somebody's ear off, but for the grace of god. Is that embarrassing, or do you actually make sure the idiot is excluded until they have been rigorously retrained and retested? Why is it that with near misses on the road we are just expected to accept that, well, nobody died this time so no harm done?

lesterama replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago

Perhaps Tom needs to get Caroline Lucas involved. Hard to push the green agenda when people cycling are put at such risk.

AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago

I love the fact the van also have nice sticky out things on the rear so if the mirror doesn't catch you on initial pass, they have a good chance of collecting you as they pull in too fast. 

Sriracha replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago

Shocking. Yeah, lots of bits to snag any loose clothing or pannier straps, and to have any hope of surviving the van you needed to be headed for the wet iron drain grid or the broken surface around it. Embarrassment is the least of it.

AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago
1 like

Oops, used the template from the previous one and forgot to remove the second video lower down. 

Safety | 1 year ago

How on earth did this pass not merit prosecution? Absolutely dreadful.
It would be good if Road CC contacted the relevant police force in cases like this to ask for an explanation.

AlsoSomniloquism replied to Safety | 1 year ago

Whilst a good idea, the coppers don't even tell victims witnesses about the progress of cases, so why would they make comments on individual cases to a website. 

However they should do a large piece on the differences between each Police Forces reporting, priority on Vulnerable users and maybe follow it up with FOI's on each forces prosecution stats for cyclists submitted footages. Just on the replies we should get ideas on each force then. Maybe in conjunction with BC or CUK. 

Maybe an Interview with Andy Cox could cover alot of it and raise awareness for his Charity thing in a few weeks time in the process.

wtjs replied to Safety | 1 year ago

It would be good if Road CC contacted the relevant police force in cases like this to ask for an explanation

The Bad Cops already have this covered: they just refuse to reply.

A council official told Tom that the driver had been traced and would be spoken to about the incident

This means they haven't done anything beyond having a good laugh about it with the driver, because they know the police aren't going to do anything either. This is the absolutely standard brush-off I received from Lancashire County Council when their Highway Maintenance vehicle went through a red light (yes, the usual ones in Garstang) and from Wyre Council after a close-pass on the Death Highway to Blackpool. Wyre Council went one better: yes, you've guessed it 'the driver is a cyclist himself...'

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