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Three-time Olympic champion Ed Clancy joins police close pass operation

Now in his role as South Yorkshire Active Travel Commissioner, Clancy joined South Yorkshire Police targeting drivers who overtake cyclists too closely

British Cycling track legend Ed Clancy — winner of three Olympic team pursuit golds, four Olympic medals in total, twelve medals including six golds at the World Championships, European and Commonwealth titles, MBE and OBE recipient — joined South Yorkshire Police earlier this month as they undertook their latest close pass operation.

Now Active Travel Commissioner for South Yorkshire, Clancy followed in the footsteps of fellow British Cycling star-turned-active travel figure Dame Sarah Storey who also joined one of the force's close pass ops back in 2021.

Clancy shared pictures of the May 3 work on social media, saying it "marks the start of my mission as Active Travel Commissioner to work with terrific teams like this to bring about safer roads in South Yorkshire for everyone".

Ed Clancy joins South Yorkshire Police close pass operation (Ed Clancy/Twitter)

South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) praised Clancy's involvement saying it is "fantastic work to promote safe road user behaviour! Road safety is everyone's responsibility and we can only prevent serious and fatal collisions if we all play our part".

As the force has explained previously, these operations work by teams of 'undercover' cyclists riding along roads of interest. When they are close passed by a driver, the rider communicates to officers further up the road who then stop the motorist who is educated on the dangers of close passing cyclists or given a fixed penalty notice if a particularly dangerous offence is committed.

While we do not have figures from Clancy's operation, when Storey joined the force 20 drivers who overtook her were stopped out of 110 overtakes.

Ed Clancy joins South Yorkshire Police close pass operation (Ed Clancy/Twitter)

"Sarah's Garmin radar detected 110 overtakes over the two laps we completed, and of those 110 overtakes, 20 were stopped for advice purposes, which is disappointing," inspector Kevin Smith said back in 2021.

"Our other pair were also close passed a few times, taking the total to 25 vehicles stopped for advice purposes, and another five that we will catch up with through the post. In total 10 prosecutions for a range of offences from careless driving to contravening double white lines."

> Dame Sarah Storey joins South Yorkshire Police on close pass operation – and almost one in five drivers get pulled over

Yesterday, we reported that an FOI request had revealed that of 3,898 allegations of driving offences received by Surrey Police in the last 15 months just 10 resulted in a prosecution.

These included 938 instances of close pass submissions, with only three resulting in a prosecution, four in a penalty notice and four being offered a driver improvement course. In contrast, 742 cases, almost 80 per cent of the total, were resolved with a warning letter.

The news comes a month after we reported that another FOI request had revealed that out of the 286 submissions to West Midlands Police, the force which pioneered 'close pass', resulted in just one prosecution, with 213 reports of careless or dangerous driving around cyclists last year resulting in no further action being taken.

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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dubwise | 11 months ago

Up here in Scotland, they are running a "Think Bike, Think Life" advert.

Out today and the first close pass... Police Scotland vehicle.

What is the point when the so-called law enforcers ignore the law.

yupiteru | 11 months ago

Before anything improves in the UK we need to make it an offence for papers like the Daily Mail and certain presenters on talk radio to stoke up hatred and encourage dangerous, violent and illegal behaviour towards cyclists.

If this behaviour was taking place targeting other certain prescribed minority groups it would at the very least be classed as a hate crime and action would be taken by IPSO, OFCOM and the Police.

Until then we as cyclists need to keep the cameras rolling and submit as many examples of bad driving that endanger us as we possibly can.

I understand that some Police forces are under performing in this area and there room for improvement, but some are very good, such as Gwent Police and South Wales Police where I live, who take close passes very seriously in my experience.



the little onion replied to yupiteru | 11 months ago

Not sure how serious you are about limiting their free speech... (much as I despise them)


BUT a more productive thing might be that, every time they spout some nonsense, challenge them to go on a 30 minute ride in rush hour in a city. 

reminds me of a journalist (can't remember which one) who wrote a column defending waterboarding as not being torture. They then were challenged to submit to a few seconds of waterboarding, which to their credit, they accepted. And then openly and honestly admitted that waterboarding was torture

Rendel Harris replied to the little onion | 11 months ago
1 like

the little onion wrote:

Not sure how serious you are about limiting their free speech... (much as I despise them)

There is a serious discussion to be had though about the legality of deliberately encouraging hatred against a specific group. The language and lies used by the Daily Mail when covering cycling issues certainly would not be tolerated if it were used against a racial or religious grouping or those of a particular sexual orientation (before any self-righteous rightists jump in, no of course I'm not saying cyclists suffer as badly as people experiencing racism or religious prejudice, but it is similar in many ways).

The waterboarding journalist was Christopher Hitchens, by the way.



Oldfatgit | 11 months ago

Can't help be feel that initiatives like this are just lip service ... less than than bare minimum.

Especially when the truth is more like this ...

wtjs | 11 months ago

We already know that if you commit an offence against a cycling police officer you may be prosecuted. However, that doesn't help those of us who aren't police officers, where we know that almost all cases with perfect evidence are simply binned (euphemism 'NFA'd') with the police claiming they're too busy to deal with all the offences. The trouble with this kind of story when we know that offences against cyclists are getting worse or, at best, not getting better, is that it allows the police to pretend to be serious while legitimising the notion that 'the police have to witness the offence before we can do anything'- this is, of course, untrue- but that doesn't stop the police using the dodge. The idea is to 'delegitimise' the personal camera- they're quite happy to wear cameras themselves, but they really hate cyclists having them

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