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Cyclist hit by driver turning into no-entry road “should be prosecuted”, says Mr Loophole – but Jeremy Vine claims motorists who believe cyclist was at fault “should have their driving licence rescinded”

The clip showing the cyclist being struck by a turning motorist – who was allegedly attempting a U-turn to avoid traffic – has sparked a fierce debate on social media

A cyclist who was filmed being struck by a motorist making a right-turn into a no-entry road – allegedly to attempt a U-turn to avoid traffic – should be prosecuted for cycling without due care and attention, according to Nick Freeman, the lawyer famous for obtaining not guilty verdicts for celebrities charged with driving offences and often known by his Mr Loophole nickname.

However, the clip – which has so far been viewed over eight million times of X, formerly Twitter – has divided opinion on social media, with pioneering close pass police officer Mark Hodson describing the incident as a “straightforward” case of driving without due care and attention on the part of the motorist, who Hodson said should have been “expecting and looking” as they crossed the lane to turn right.

Meanwhile, broadcaster and cycling campaigner Jeremy Vine added that anyone who believes the collision was caused by the cyclist “should have their driving licence rescinded”, while the cyclist who filmed the incident – and narrowly avoided crashing, too – has used the debate to call for safer cycling infrastructure on a road he described as a “dog’s dinner” and “clearly dangerous”.

The crash took place on Sunday morning, at around 11am, on London’s A308 Hampton Court Road, between Hampton Court and Bushy Park.

The clip, which was posted later that evening on X by the Piggy Stardust account (who captured the incident on their bike camera), shows the cyclist riding on the road’s painted cycle lane, before taking a brief drink from their water bottle as the lane suddenly ends, to be replaced by a solitary painted bike symbol on the road.

As the cyclist puts their bottle back in its cage, however, the driver of a Mini – after another motorist left a gap – makes a right turn, cutting across the path of the cyclist, who collides with the back of the car, suffering bruises in the process (the car, meanwhile, escaped with a dented rear panel).

Describing the shocking collision, the cyclist behind the Piggy Stardust account, who wishes to remain anonymous, told road.cc: “I’d been out in the Surrey Hills and was coming back to Kingston. I found myself behind this guy at around Hampton Court.

“There’s a small section of cycle lane, that includes a floating bus stop, and a floating parking space, and then the road. So, you’re actually cycling up the inside of parked cars. We exited that little section of cycle lane – and we were in exactly the right place. There were cycle motifs painted on the road.”

Cyclist struck by Mini driver pulling across him into no-entry road (Piggy Stardust, X) 2

He continued: “And I’ve seen people on social media suggesting that we were cycling too fast, but we really weren’t. He was off the pedals, he reached down to drink from his bottle, we were doing between 10 and 15mph.

“Then this Mini just pulled across in front of him. And the driver was pulling into a road, Campbell Road, that’s no entry for cars or motorcycles – it’s exit only, and there’s no access apart from for residents.

“I think the driver was basically doing a U-turn, to get out of heavy traffic. And certainly after the incident the driver turned around the way he had come.

“Doing a U-turn – for me, that’s driving without due care and attention. And I very nearly came down myself. The cyclist in front came down quite badly, and I only just unclipped in time, otherwise I’d have been on top of him. He was dazed and bruised, but he was able to stand up afterwards.

“The driver blamed us for riding too fast, and I blamed him for driving without due care and attention. There was no kind of nastiness, just a difference of opinion really. But the driver didn’t leave his details with the cyclist.”

Cyclist struck by Mini driver pulling across him into no-entry road (Piggy Stardust, X) 3

In email correspondence following the collision, the rider involved told the camera cyclist that the Mini driver “gave me little space to brake” and that “I need to get one of those cameras”.

“I gave the cyclist the video and my details, but I haven’t heard from him since that first email,” Piggy adds. “If he doesn’t decide to pursue it, I certainly will.”

“The cyclist should now be prosecuted”

However, as Piggy Stardust noted while chatting to road.cc, not everyone on social media responding to the now-viral video agreed with his assessment that the Mini driver was “clearly” guilty of driving without due care and attention, causing the crash.

“Cyclist fault. Clear markings showing end of cycle lane. Cyclist continues undertaking without slowing despite stopped vehicle,” X user Layer 1 Hunter tweeted under the video.

“Cyclist’s fault, he wasn’t paying attention because he was drinking a drink and trying to put it back in its holder. He also should have been aware a car had stopped and left a gap for another driver to turn. Totally his fault,” added KingPin Giveaway.

“Mini driver turns across bicycle lane, missing obscured cyclist. Cyclist was focused on replacing his water bottle while knowingly speeding past stopped traffic (foolish in any vehicle). Fault 50/50,” wrote the marginally more diplomatic RQD.

Aside from Blue Check Twitter, the clip has also attracted the attention of notable names on both sides of the road safety debate.

According to lawyer Nick Freeman – whose archive of cycling-related comments in recent years includes making calls for compulsory high-visibility clothing, helmet use, and number plates, arguing cyclists should be forced to use cycle lanes, that lockdown created a “toxic culture of cycling”, and that the Highway Code changes introduced to protect vulnerable road users and pedestrians would cause carnage and more danger – the cyclist was at fault for failing to concentrate prior to the collision.

Freeman, who earned his Mr Loophole nickname by getting celebrities off the hook for driving offences on technicalities, tweeted: “Sorry cyclist was hurt, but [he] wasn’t concentrating on what was happening around him.

“Was going too quickly, swerving as drinking, putting head down, and so unaware car to his right had stopped to let Mini pass. Cyclist should now be prosecuted for cycling without due care and attention.”

> Mr Loophole makes renewed call for cyclist number plates, but gets shut down by Jeremy Vine show panel

However, Freeman’s conclusion was contradicted by Mark Hodson, the now-retired police officer who pioneered close pass operations in the force while advocating for third-party reporting from cyclists, who described the incident as a “straightforward” case of the motorist driving without due care and attention.

“The driver has a view of the cyclists at the start of the video, [and] crosses a lane without knowing if anything is coming anyway,” Hodson tweeted. “Actually, as the cyclists are higher than the vehicles, they would have been in sight throughout.

“If you were competent and looking for them, it’s not like they appeared from behind a large high sided vehicle – and even then if that were the case, the driver is duty bound to check/give way.

“Any competent driver would be expecting and looking. People defend the driving as they are also part of the incompetent problem group.”

> Should dealing with third-party camera reports from cyclists be outsourced? Close pass op pioneer Mark Hodson on the road.cc Podcast

That criticism of the widespread social media defence of the driver’s actions was echoed by broadcaster, journalist, and camera-using cyclist Jeremy Vine, who colourfully wrote: “Everyone in this thread saying ‘it was the cyclist’s fault’ should have their driving licence rescinded and their car crushed into a tiny metal cube that can be sold on Vinted as a coffee table.”

Responding to the social media reaction, Piggy Stardust told road.cc: “It was a predictable reaction from Mr Loophole – what else do you expect him to say? But I disagree completely. That was clear driving without due care. And at least, beyond the typical rubbish, the clip has started a healthy debate about safe driving around cyclists.”

Cyclist struck by Mini driver pulling across him into no-entry road (Piggy Stardust, X)

> Jeremy Vine rides penny-farthing along cycle lane... gets blocked off by a driver who ignored cyclist priority

That healthy debate, the cyclist says, should be centred on the need for safe, connected, well-designed infrastructure for people on bikes.

“The road is an absolute dog’s dinner of different and inadequate cycling infrastructure,” he points out.

“There are floating bus stops, parked cars, and a cycle lane beside parked cars, before a section of road with just cycle motifs – so you’re encouraged to ride up the inside of traffic on that bend that we were approaching.

“And then further down to Bushy Park, you have a painted cycle lane that at the weekends is littered with parked cars. Further down towards Kingston, there’s a combined pedestrian and cycle lane, which most of us don’t use because you don’t want to ride with pedestrians walking towards you.

“So it’s really up to the London Borough of Richmond to sort out their cycling infrastructure, it’s a dog’s dinner. A friend of mine also nearly crashed on that road.

“Riding down the inside of parked cars, you’re at the mercy of drivers like this one, who was doing a U-turn to get out of traffic. It’s rubbish, and clearly dangerous.”

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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45 comments

Avatar
Grumpy17 | 1 month ago
5 likes

I was knocked off in very similar circumstances. There was absolutely no contesting the claim and I was paid out very quickly. We should ignore any hysterical comments. This rider will get his compensation without question. He should certainly be seeing his GP about his injuries.Police are unlikely to prosecute the driver but that won't make a shred of difference to the validity of the cyclist's claim.

The camera footage is irrefutable evidence of who is to blame here.

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mattw | 1 month ago
0 likes

We need a Hammer House of Horror.

"Mr Poophole - THE RETURN".

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Bob's Bikes | 1 month ago
7 likes

As the cammer states that no details were exchanged unless the driver reports this incident to the police he will also get "done" for leaving the scene of an accident. Lets hope the cyclists reports the driver and his actions to the police so he gets prosecuted.

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quiff replied to Bob's Bikes | 1 month ago
1 like

Strictly speaking, the driver only has to provide details if asked - it's not clear if he was (but suspect so).  

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bikeman01 replied to quiff | 1 month ago
7 likes

The driver is required to report the incident to the police because someone was hurt.

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quiff replied to bikeman01 | 1 month ago
1 like

I think on the wording of the legislation, there's no (legal) duty to report - if person asks for details, you either give them, or report it to police. But if not asked, arguably there's no legal duty to volunteer it or report it - https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/52/section/170  

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IanMK replied to quiff | 1 month ago
6 likes

My interpretation would be different. If the driver does not give his details simply because he's not asked then he still has to report it. Section 3 says that if he has not given his details `for any reason' then he has to report it. Section 4 says not doing so is an offence.

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hawkinspeter replied to IanMK | 1 month ago
1 like
IanMK wrote:

My interpretation would be different. If the driver does not give his details simply because he's not asked then he still has to report it. Section 3 says that if he has not given his details `for any reason' then he has to report it. Section 4 says not doing so is an offence.

Insurance companies usually have to be notified too.

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HLaB replied to IanMK | 1 month ago
3 likes

Yes that would be my interpretation too.  Perhaps in damage only accidents ask/ not ask is enough, but how would a person hurt or worse ask the driver for their details for it to apply!

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Hirsute | 1 month ago
1 like

It's a horrible road unless you are in a pack.
Much more pleasant to go through Bushy park even if it's a bit more time.

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mctrials23 | 1 month ago
16 likes

Its a pretty clear cut case of a driver not even thinking about anyone else which is completely the norm. Thats why so many drivers blame the cyclist. These are the people that think "the sun was in my eyes" or "I couldn't see very well" is an excuse for dangerous driving rather than a reason to change their behaviour to mitigate the issue. 

The problem is that up to a point, the whole system has to work on the idea that everyone, cyclists included do their best to compensate for people who are wallys. Personally in stationary traffic I slow right down and often ride standing up on the pedals or coast to be able to see above cars because there is almost a guarantee that someone will turn across you. Cars routinely overtake me in slow moving traffic and bang on their indicator to turn across me. In theory I can come up their inside legally but I don't because I don't want to be arguing from hospital. 

The thing that really stands out though is that drivers are allowed all these monumental lapses of concentration and cyclists aren't. The cyclist was just continuing in a straight line. They weren't taking any actions. The driver was actively making a manouvre and therefore should be paying attention to all the usual things when you are undertaking something like that. 

I know that I try to look out for cyclists as much as possible when driving but I 100% don't check every danger before turning sometimes. If I hit a cyclist as a result however I would be at fault and rightly so. I try to pay attention to everything when driving to make sure that hazards don't pop up and surprise me in the same way I do when cycling. Accidents do happen even with the best intentions but we need people to understand that as a driver you are the one who has the greatest duty of care and when you make a mistake and hurt someone, thats your fault. 

If the cyclist pulled this manouvre and the car hit them side on, a million quid says that every single one of those people blaming the cyclist would still be blaming the cyclist.

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Alessandro | 1 month ago
12 likes

Freeman is a nasty little snake who needs to be prevented from having any air time, especially on an outlet such as this. 

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the little onion replied to Alessandro | 1 month ago
12 likes
Alessandro wrote:

Freeman is a nasty little snake who needs to be prevented from having any air time, especially on an outlet such as this

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mattw | 1 month ago
0 likes

I've found this one to be a useful conversation, which has reached parts other conversations usually do not.

I'm interested in why the header thinks this is no entry - I have not spotted that, despite a careful look.

Google satellite photos show "no cross" hatchings with solid white lines on the road on the corner, but these were removed in 2019, and are no longer there in the more recent streetview.

[Update . I see - no motor vehicles except for access.

So squarely down to the Borough of Richmond to sort out that corner.]

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OnYerBike replied to mattw | 1 month ago
2 likes

Strictly it's not "No entry"; it's "No motor vehicles, except for access". You can see the sign on streetview: https://maps.app.goo.gl/ZSiUh8nKShQZDPXV6

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giff77 replied to OnYerBike | 1 month ago
1 like

And how many motorists acknowledge that?  I've seen plenty ignore access only to use the street as a rat run. Also we are led to believe that the driver took off in the opposite direction and didn't continue into Campbell Street

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Rendel Harris replied to mattw | 1 month ago
2 likes

It's a bit misleading, the only road leading off there, Campbell Road, is access only (pictured) but there's nothing to stop people using that entrance to turn round, and even if they were going into the road they could have been going to one of the houses. The driver is definitely at fault (in my opinion) but going into a no entry is not part of that fault. The filming cyclist is wrong to say Campbell Road is exit only, there is not a no entry sign at the top of it, just a motor traffic prohibited except for access sign.

ETA Now I think of it, the filming cyclist is definitely in error in saying it is exit only on that road because it's a dead end which finishes at Hampton Court House School, there is only one way in and out of the road.

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wycombewheeler replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
1 like
Rendel Harris wrote:

The filming cyclist is wrong to say Campbell Road is exit only,

Given that the road has no other access than this junction that would be some feat, it would mean motor vehicles coming into existance at Hampton Court House School.

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quiff replied to mattw | 1 month ago
1 like
mattw wrote:

I'm interested in why the header thinks this is no entry - I have not spotted that, despite a careful look.

There is a no motor vehicles sign (except for access) on Campbell Rd - https://maps.app.goo.gl/c3GMkj9eDyBseCCC6, but not sure that really adds to the debate as the driver wasn't breaching it by turning there.

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john_smith replied to mattw | 1 month ago
0 likes

The whole question seems irrelevant to me, since the collision presumably occurred before the "no entry" (or whatever it is) bit.

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Hirsute | 1 month ago
4 likes

I would have been a bit more careful there as it's also the exit/entry for a cycle route through the park to the left. There is always a chance that you will meet a cyclist coming one way or the other. So slightly better roadcraft needed, as it didn't appear the cyclist was back on the brakes in time to stop in the distance clear.

There are loads of cyclists around there and the driver must have seen loads coming the other way. There are also numerous cycle symbols on the approach to that junction. Any competent driver would not be crossing traffic without coming to a stop and slowly clearing the junction.

 

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chrisonabike replied to Hirsute | 1 month ago
1 like

Perhaps - the camera rider suggests they had slowed...

OTOH certainly rubbish "infra" and sadly standard clueless driving - one failing to observe. Can't tell about the driver who stopped to allow the turn but IIRC when learning driving I was taught not to wave people (cars or pedestrians) across as people should and might be doing their own checks.

Plus of course everyone else drives off. I guess the logic could be they saw "cyclist was OK" and thought "I can't add anything here". However it could well be "I *have to get somewhere*" or " mustn't hold up traffic".

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HoarseMann | 1 month ago
6 likes

I can just imagine the driver saying to the cyclist 'watch where you're going, you crashed into my car!' - totally oblivious.

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delthebike | 1 month ago
12 likes

Why doesn't Mr. Freeman start a litigation for the motorist against the cyclist, as a no win no fee case? He seems so sure who is at fault after all.

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Mr Hoopdriver | 1 month ago
13 likes

Seems to me :-

Car driver : tragic consequences, moment's inattention -> just one of those things, scratched bumper insurance will pay for.

Cyclist : tragic consequences, moment's inattention -> your fault, prosecuted,  bike written off, we need to do more to curb the menace to society that these cyclists are.

Meanwhile five more people killed every day by vehicle operators.

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Steve K | 1 month ago
15 likes

The comparison between this story and the tragic Regent's Park story is so revealing.

Driver turns across a cyclist - it's the cyclist's fault.

Pedestrian steps out in front of a cyclist - it's the cyclist's fault.

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stonojnr replied to Steve K | 1 month ago
0 likes

It's not really. Just switch the car for a cyclist turning into a no entry road and the cyclist for say a jogger on the path who just runs across the road, who would you blame then ?

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Steve K replied to stonojnr | 1 month ago
3 likes
stonojnr wrote:

It's not really. Just switch the car for a cyclist turning into a no entry road and the cyclist for say a jogger on the path who just runs across the road, who would you blame then ?

The cyclist.

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wycombewheeler replied to stonojnr | 1 month ago
2 likes
stonojnr wrote:

It's not really. Just switch the car for a cyclist turning into a no entry road and the cyclist for say a jogger on the path who just runs across the road, who would you blame then ?

what no entry road? dead end roads or cul de sacs are never no entry, they can't be.

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giff77 replied to stonojnr | 1 month ago
1 like

 Think that most would be blaming the cyclist taking out the jogger.

Regarding the pedestrian at Regents they were crossing the main road without paying attention. The tragic outcome is something the cyclist will live with for the rest of his life and will always have it on his mind. 

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