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Near Miss of the Day 23: Featuring a U-turning SMIDSY driver

Our regular feature highlighting close passes caught on camera from around the country – today it’s London's Quietway 1...

According to Transport for London, the city's Quietways, the first of which opened last year and runs from Waterloo to Greenwich, "follow backstreet routes, through parks, along waterways or tree-lined streets," and thereby "overcome barriers to cycling, targeting cyclists who want to use quieter, low-traffic routes, providing an environment for those cyclists who want to travel at a more gentle pace."

The on-the-ground experience of riders can be rather different, however, as Mark Treasure of the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain sets out in this blog post from last year while parts were still under construction, and in this post by The Ranty Highwayman a couple of months later.

The programme has also been criticised by London's former cycling commissioner, Andrew Gilligan.

> Gilligan: Quietways programme is a failure

We've seen a couple of videos of near misses on the route - a month or two back, one did the rounds on social media of a black-cab driver turning across a rider - and here's another one sent in by reader Henry Dalton shows.

It's a classic SMIDSY - "Sorry mate, I didn't see you" scenario as the driver pulls into a parking bay on the left then immediately swings right to perform a u-turn without having spotted Henry, who is almost knocked from his bike as he carries straight on towards a path that is bollarded off to bar access to motor vehicles.

Quite why the driver didn't see Henry is unclear - but it's possible from this, and other videos we've seen from this and other places where there is a through route for people on bikes that drivers can't use that leads to an assumption that in effect they are in a cul-de-sac and simply aren't aware that someone could be pedalling through.

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.


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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