The driver of a vehicle subcontracted to Thames Water who made a very close pass on a cyclist in Oxfordshire was disciplined by his employers (and may also face prosecution) – although the bike rider on the receiving end of the dangerous manoeuvre wonders whether the fact the driver’s boss is also a cyclist may have had something to do with the company taking action.
The incident (whihc happens around 2 minutes 20 seconds into the video) was filmed by road.cc reader Tom as he rode home from Oxford towards Thame earlier this month.
“This was one of the closest passes I've had in a while, that along with the bus coming in the other direction it was all a bit startling,” he told us, “which is why I'll give a warning for potential bad language but it all came out at once so the swears merge into one.
“Obviously I'm fearful of my safety here but I was also on my second outing on my new bicycle which had taken 14 months after being paid for to get to me. so I was equally annoyed about the potential for the bike to end up scratching along the road with me.
“Weirdly enough I was expecting slightly more Thames Water vehicle traffic as they were dealing with a big leak in Thame on the day.
“I got in touch with Thames Water after reporting this to Thames Valley Police via their online portal.
“I had the usual guff about how they'll investigate and couldn't let me know the outcome (they initially wouldn't accept a Dropbox link and wanted me to upload the video into the Twitter messages which just seemed to be avoiding taking responsibility).
“I did however get a call on Monday from the subcontractors who provide the vehicles and drivers who told me they'd disciplined the driver (he also mentioned the gaffer was a cyclist himself and was keen to sort this out, which the cynic in me means this may not have happened if he wasn't) and had been talking with the police who intend to file an NIP [Notice of Intended Prosecution] too.
“I'm still waiting to hear from Thames Valley Police on this and to be fair they normally do give me a call whatever the outcome,” Tom added.
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.
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.