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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 road.cc 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 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.

> What to do if you capture a near miss or close pass (or worse) on camera while cycling

Simon joined road.cc 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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