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Near Miss of the Day 726: Painted cycle lane does little to protect cyclist from impatient van driver

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

You have probably heard the 'paint isn't infrastructure' line before, it is often accompanied by a picture of a particularly sorry-looking cycle lane from somewhere around the UK...

The thought being that yes, that may technically be a cycle lane, with its painted white bicycle and dotted line. But what is actually protecting those using it from dangerous driving? After all, a painted line is not going to stop a collision.

Today's Near Miss of the Day submission highlights this issue, showing a van driver squeezing past a cyclist using one such painted lane. reader Dave said this is "by no means the worst" driving he has been on the receiving end of. The worst is unfortunately ineligible for our Near Miss series as it was "when I was knocked off..."

"I live in Manchester, and, perhaps to your dismay, I don't even bother submitting these to Greater Manchester Police," he told us.

"They have failed me every time I've needed them, so I just don't bother. I simply run a dash cam for insurance purposes. I would however, like to have a little moan on the internet."

> Near Miss of the Day 725: ‘Boy racer’ squeezes between cyclist and overtaking driver

In more positive news, Dave tells us his new cargo bike is arriving this week, which, with 120kg of tools will be his new workman's van. "Wish me luck!"

If only today's Near Miss driver had a similar idea...

> 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

Dan is the news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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wtjs | 2 years ago

I agree with the general feeling here that painted cycle lanes (unless they're 2m wide or more) are worse than useless in that it's reasonable to believe they're more dangerous for cyclists than no cycle lane at all. On the A6 north of Preston they're intermittent and narrow and Lancashire Constabulary wouldn't even enforce them if someone passed you with nearside wheels inside the line- 'it's only a few inches and he didn't actually hit you' (or if he did, they would go for 'didn't actually knock you off' etc. ending with 'didn't actually kill you').

eburtthebike | 2 years ago

"Painted cycle lane does little to protect cyclist from impatient van driver"

Not only did it not protect, it probably caused the dangerous pass, as the driver seems to have thought that since the cyclist was in the cycle lane and he wasn't, it must be safe to pass.  Dave could have tried riding further out, but then would have been on the end of some aggressive behaviour for not riding in the cycle lane.

That cycle lane is just so typical of British cycle facilities; the council can tick the box for making cycling safer whilst making it more dangerous.  That cycle lane should be removed, and while Dave might not submit footage to the police, he should be submitting it to the council and demanding they do something about it.

bob.sweet | 2 years ago
1 like

We seem to have a theme developing - Those of us who live in Greater Manchester giving up sending videos to the police!

IanMK | 2 years ago

Honestly, who designed that?

Let's put in cycle lane where 1, the cyclist is recommended to take the lane (rule 72) and 2, drivers are not supposed to be overtaking (rule 163).

I'm not sure it helps but have you flagged it on Fixmystreet?

bikeman01 | 2 years ago

And the point of that 20 yard 'cycle lane' is?

jpj84 replied to bikeman01 | 2 years ago
1 like

But shurely Burnham and boardman have fixed cycling provision in GM? It's now a Dutch style postage isn't it?

iandusud replied to bikeman01 | 2 years ago

bikeman01 wrote:

And the point of that 20 yard 'cycle lane' is?

Presumably to endanger cyclists. Statistically you are more likely to be hit by a car cycling in a painted cycle lane than on a road with no cycle lane painted on the road. Personally I feel endangered by this sort of "cycling infrastructure" where I'm expected to ride in the gutter so that cars can attempt to sqeeze past me. 

Car Delenda Est replied to bikeman01 | 2 years ago
1 like

So that it doesn't count as an overtake when they squeeze past.

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