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Motoring website founder backs Boardman videos on overtaking cyclists co-founder says road safety videos, like Boardman overtaking clips, should be shared in absence of government-produced public information films

The co-founder of popular motoring website,, has hinted that clips starring Chris Boardman about overtaking cyclists should become public safety information videos.

On today's BBC Five Live Daily show, with Clare McDonnell, the motoring website's Chris Green said motorists "definitely" need to give cyclists more room on the roads, and the UK government needs to do more to educate drivers, while praising videos Space and Side by Side, released this week on that topic.

Chris Boardman also appeared on the show, in which both men were in agreement that more needs to be done to keep cyclists safe. Speaking in light of the viral video, Clown takes a Pratfall, Green said aggression on the roads is too common.

Green, whose website claims 850,000 user visits per month, said: "It's a problem, and I think the government need to do something about it as well. There was a time where we had a lot of public information films, back in the '70s and '80s, around road users and I think it's something that should be brought back, and certainly the video that Chris [Boardman] and Carlton Reid have done is something that should be shared and used."

SPACE from carltonreid on Vimeo.

Green, who cycles and drives, and recently cycled from London to Paris for charity, says motorists and cyclists provoking one another is a global problem, and that his website has tried to take an informative and educative role about driving safely around the growing numbers of cyclists on the roads.

"The thing we've identified over the last 12 months is the growth in cyclists - which is huge - the infrastructure is poor on the roads, and I think there's definitely an education exercise that we need to do to motorists to make them understand that," he said.

"As Chris [Boardman] says, and as the video says, these people are flesh and blood, they have families and have children. Motorists own bikes, cyclists own cars, it's about time we all had a bit more patience and showed a bit more respect to each other."

Side by Side from carltonreid on Vimeo.

Chris Boardman said, in response to the argument in the road rage video: "I think first and foremost people on the road, however they are getting about, have the capacity to be rude, to be aggressive, to be polite, and it's not connected to what vehicle they happen to use. It just so happens that in one of those vehicles you can kill people, and the other, worst case, you can kill yourself."

Carlton Reid, who has written for, said he is "almost certain" the video will be distributed by the Department for Transport.

Reid said: "The first video in the series "why do cyclists ride in the middle of the lane" was sent to driving instructor organisations by the DfT's Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. It's almost certain that the current two videos will get similar distribution. It would also be good for endorsement of the videos from the DfT, enabling them to become official public information films (PIFs)."

"The Cabinet Office has a number of PIFs which it stores for use as fillers by broadcasters – we want to get on that list."

Reid wants to see widespread distribution of the videos by professional and social networks of cyclists and motorists.

"Clearly, we also want to get the message heard and seen by motorists. A start was made this morning with the great interview on Radio 5 Live with Chris Boardman and Chris Green of," he said.

The radio show carried out a vox-pops piece on the street. When asked how much space you should give when overtaking a cyclist, three of four people quoted said about six feet, one said two meters.

When asked "Is it legal for cycles to go two abreast?", one person said no, two said yes but they found it annoying, and one said yes without qualification.

AA president, Edmund King, has in the past called for an end to what he describes as a "two tribes" mentality, pointing out that he will choose to use a car, bike or train - and sometimes a combination of two or three of those - depending what best suits the journey he is undertaking.

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jacknorell | 8 years ago

Overall driving where I live and cycle most of the time (Central London) has improved overall.

One outstanding issue is that the frankly homicidal idiots in charge of motor vehicles now also know they'll get away with it...

Cameras unfortunately only help after an event...

sean1 | 8 years ago

Slightly off tangent, but the government recently privatised it's 'Nudge Unit' into the 'Behavioural Insights Team'.

Their remit is to look at ways to encourage or move (or nudge) society in certain directions that benefit society as a whole. e.g. organ donation, charitable giving, etc.

A fantastic project would be for this bunch, and the DfT, to look at ways to influence driver behaviour and perceptions around cycling.

However with the current government I will not be holding my breath on this one......

doubledex | 8 years ago

Its amazing this current government are getting away with under the guise of 'austerity because of the 2008 financial crisis'. That and the opposition party pressing the self destruct button with Ed Milliband so that there is absolutely no-one in parliament to challenge all this. People are being killed on our roads now so much because there is no education for car drivers and inexperienced cyclists + as has been said on this forum, there are no traffic police at all anymore it seems. If road deaths were thought of in the same way as terrorists I bet something would be done about it. It would be interesting to compare deaths in the UK from terrorist attacks to road deaths and see what is actually the biggest killer? It is absolutely lawless out there - car drivers not giving space, plonker cyclists with earphones in (in the middle of cities!!), etc, etc. It really stresses me out to see the near misses all the time and the anger between some cyclists and motorists. We probably need a lot more information on this to inform the debate. It would be interesting for an academic to study a section of urban road and record cyclist, pedestrian and motorist behaviour over the course of say a year. It would include everything - people on phones (driving and cycling), speeding, crossing the road whilst texting, driving too close to cyclists, cyclists going through red lights, cars going through red lights - and also any near misses. Does anything like this already exist? If it was backed up by RoSPA to lend it credibility, that would be great. Maybe?

Simon E replied to doubledex | 8 years ago
doubledex wrote:

Its amazing this current government are getting away with under the guise of 'austerity because of the 2008 financial crisis'.

They are getting away with it because too many selfish bastards voted for them and their policies.

But I think we'd be kidding ourselves if we thought that what we perceive as poor driving standards is caused by the current government.

I think driving behaviour around cyclists has improved where I live. That's not to say there aren't still some dickheads, but more drivers are driving more considerately than a few years ago.

Toro Toro | 8 years ago

Fuck the Tories.

They seem happy to fuck us.

Wolfshade replied to Toro Toro | 8 years ago
Toro Toro wrote:

Fudgecake the Tories.

They seem happy to Fudgecake us.

I'm not entirely sure it is them. My local council is labour and has been for the vast majority of the time since I have been born, yet the provision for cyclists is poor. When I complain to the council about how their works are deliberately blocking what little cycling infrastructure there is I get told that it is complaint with regulation.

Blaming one political party is to absolve the angry masses who allow this sort of thing to continue.

mrmo | 8 years ago

So basically the government has abdicated all responsibility for road safety, police forces have scrapped traffic police and the government have scrapped education.


gazza_d replied to mrmo | 8 years ago
mrmo wrote:

So basically the government has abdicated all responsibility for road safety, police forces have scrapped traffic police and the government have scrapped education.


Not only have they presided over turning UK roads into a Mad Max style state of near lawlessness, they have actively encouraged vehicle use over everything else by freezing fuel duty for 5 yrs+ and a multi billion road programme "upgrading" lots of roads into virtual motorways.

It's what happens when a bunch of rich entitled Mr Toads blinkered to anything but driving, get their way.

sean1 | 8 years ago

From a Freedom of Information request, the amount spent by the government on recent road safety campaigns.

2008 £19 Million
2009 £18.6 Million
2010 £2.3 Million
2011 £4.0 Million
2012 £3.5 Million

The vast majority of the budget is for drink driving campaigns followed by motor cycle awareness. Virtually nothing is spent on cycle awareness.

The government has drastically reduced the budget and pays lip service to cycling issues.

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