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"Traffic on road? Just use a cycle lane": Motorist facing court after speeding through segregated bike lane

The shocking footage had sparked outrage, and West Midlands Police have now confirmed that the suspected driver has been identified and is facing charges

West Midlands Police has confirmed that a driver has been identified and is facing court for speeding through a segregated cycle lane in Coventry, with West Midlands Cycling & Walking Commissioner Adam Tranter slamming such behaviour which could have "catastrophic consequences".

The footage of a motorist driving in his blue Ford Puma illegally on Binley Road went viral last weekend, and sparked online outrage amongst cyclists and other active travel advocates.

The police force, known for pioneering 'close pass' policing, confirmed that the driver has now been spoken to by officers from the West Midlands Police Road Harm Reduction Team and reported for driving without due care and attention.

"Road safety is a key issue for WMP; we know that by working together with local communities and partners we can make significant progress in creating safer roads," said West Midlands Police.

It added: "We are actively patrolling key areas to enforce speed limits and protect our communities from the dangers of excessive speed and other road harm issues."

Adam Tranter, West Midlands' first Cycling and Walking Commissioner, thanked the police for its swift action. He said: "This driver’s behaviour could have quite easily had catastrophic consequences.

"In the West Midlands we are very clear that we will not tolerate behaviour that endangers vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. This shocking footage has rightly sparked outrage online and I'm grateful to the police for swiftly taking action."

> Calls for urgent action to "turn the tide on aggressive driving in Birmingham" after two cyclists killed in hit-and-runs

People were left bewildered under the Twitter post shared by Tranter, who has spent the recent months campaigning for road safety and calling out dangerous driving.

"Oh thank goodness they're being dealt with, that's awful," commented one person, while another cyclist wrote: "At last, some feedback! First time I've seen WMP engage with us."

The West Midlands Police had come under fire in April when an FOI request revealed that of the 286 reports of careless, inconsiderate, or dangerous driving around cyclists considered by West Midlands Police in 2022, only one resulted in a prosecution.

> Have West Midlands Police lost their way on cycling?

Further, 213 of the alleged close passes submitted last year resulted in no further action being taken, and 69 drivers captured on video committing close passes were offered a National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) course as an alternative to prosecution.

Despite the police's swift action this time, people raised concerns that despite how bizarre it sounds, these sort of occurrences are quite common.

"What do they mean when they say this? I’ve seen cars driving up the A38 blue route several times and (presumably) there is no consequence. Why make it sound like they won’t tolerate something they implicitly do? Are they doing something practical to stop it?" wrote a cyclist from Bourneville, Birmingham.

Another person said: "Unfortunately that is not exceptional - using pavements, central reservations and wrong lanes to dodge queues is normal West Midlands driving for many."

Meanwhile, another Twitter account called "LetMeCycle" said: "Traffic on the road, just use a segregated cycle lane, made to protect vulnerable road users from drivers. And this dangerous impatient driver thinks that's ok."

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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19 comments

Avatar
neilmck | 1 month ago
1 like

Starting to get this happening when I cycle to work in Paris. Drivers get fed-up sitting in their own congestion and drive down what is obviously the cycle path. The number of times I have to stop and signal to the impatient motorist driving bumper to mudguard behind me to get out of the cycle lane. It is amazing they way within a few seconds a trafficjam builds up in the cycle path of numerous cars beep their horns.

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chrisonabike replied to neilmck | 1 month ago
0 likes

It's most unwelcome when it's a footway or a cycleway and especially when the vehicle's speed is high.

I think however it's a human universal.  People "on the go" don't want to slow, stop or especially wait - not even motorists where driving involves minimal effort*.  It's likely just human conformity / fear of motorcars hitting people which keeps most in line.  In the UK at least it's hardly the threat of getting caught (very unlikely) or any penalty (often minimal)!

Witness same behaviour:

 - from some motorists (though on a roadway) at e.g. Gandalf's Corner
 - from cyclists where there is mass cycling.
 - pedestrians - though thankfully the Dutch have fixed it to be safer and there is no victim-blaming "jaywalking" there. (Note the US where for "safety" in some places you are advised to wave a flag as you cross!)

* Cyclists are the odd one out here - pedestrians are not hugely incommoded by having to stop, but losing your momentum on a bike is equivalent to extending your journey.

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mctrials23 | 9 months ago
5 likes

I think the bit that is so shocking is just how fast they are driving down it. I assumed we were going to see someone doing 10mph. That looks like 30mph or more. Madness. Should lose your licence for something that monumentally stupid. 

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Oldfatgit | 9 months ago
7 likes

Driver could always use the defense of "cant remember the incident".
Works in Police Scotland areas.

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stonojnr replied to Oldfatgit | 9 months ago
2 likes
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Bungle_52 | 9 months ago
6 likes

So a police force has finally realised that they don't need to be everywhwere all of the time with a reduced number of officers, all they have to do is act on footage submitted to them by willing volunteers who want to keep our roads safe for vulnerable road users and who are willing to put in the time, effort and expense to do so.

All we need now is a competent prosecution lawyer who can convince a magistrate or a jury that this driving falls below (if not far below) the standard of a competent and careful driver.

Oh and a bit of feedback to the person who submitted the footage and maybe even some thanks wouldn't go amiss.

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neilmck replied to Bungle_52 | 1 month ago
0 likes

If this worked in France I would buy a camera. I would catch 5 or 6 cars a day driving in what are exclusively cycle paths just on my way to work.

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Safety | 9 months ago
16 likes

What is shocking is that they appear to have been charged with driving without due care and attention. It's a deliberate act which is described as having potentially catastrophic consequences.
How on earth is this not dangerous driving?

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brooksby replied to Safety | 9 months ago
1 like
Safety wrote:

What is shocking is that they appear to have been charged with driving without due care and attention. It's a deliberate act which is described as having potentially catastrophic consequences. How on earth is this not dangerous driving?

Exactly - it's not like they accidentally found themselves on the cycle lane and got off it as soon as they could.  It appears that they went over a kerb onto the cycle lane and then drove along it until there was no longer a queue of motor traffic on the main carriageway.

It's the sort of footage that would show up on Tiktok or something with a commentary about how they're teaching cyclists a lesson for not using the cycle lane, or something like that... 

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wtjs | 9 months ago
4 likes

Ostensibly, good work by WMP- just as long as they actually do it without any later weaseling out of it by claiming they need video in the other direction, etc, so they have to abandon the case. What I would do now is observe this lane see if such offences are common, and film them, and see what WMP do! If they deploy one of the recent police dodges- we don't accept video which has been deliberately taken to demonstrate offences- then we'll know WMP is not sincere. For instance, passing traffic lights at red is definitely an offence (honestly, Lancashire Constabulary, it is!) ,yet LC routinely does nothing whatsoever about it - even with impeccable video

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HoldingOn | 9 months ago
12 likes
Quote:

shocking footage

is it though? anyone on here shocked?

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ymm replied to HoldingOn | 9 months ago
11 likes

Not really. Motorists behaviour, generally, is so woefully inadequate nothing surprises me anymore. Heavy fines, jail time and compulsory retest needed for law breaking motorists who present the greatest danger to the road using public. What an idiot this driver is!

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Surreyrider replied to ymm | 9 months ago
5 likes

Exactly. Driving standards seem to me to be at an all time low and that has to be due partly to the risk of being caught and then punished being equally low.

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eburtthebike replied to HoldingOn | 9 months ago
9 likes
HoldingOn wrote:
Quote:

shocking footage

is it though? anyone on here shocked?

Yes: because WMP are doing something about it.

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cmedred replied to eburtthebike | 9 months ago
2 likes

WMP "says'' it is doing something. Since they haven't identified the driver, there is no way to track if they are "actually" doing something. They could easily be "saying'' one thing and "doing" another. 

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NOtotheEU replied to cmedred | 9 months ago
5 likes
cmedred wrote:

WMP "says'' it is doing something. Since they haven't identified the driver, there is no way to track if they are "actually" doing something. They could easily be "saying'' one thing and "doing" another. 

I share your fear that they could easily be "saying'' one thing and "doing" another but the first line of the article does say "West Midlands Police has confirmed that a driver has been identified and is facing court" so fingers crossed they won't find an excuse to back down later.

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stonojnr replied to HoldingOn | 9 months ago
4 likes

No, I've witnessed similar with cars & motorbikes driving along pavements to get past traffic jams like that.

These types of drivers know the chances of being caught or prosecuted are vanishingly small.

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brooksby replied to stonojnr | 9 months ago
1 like
stonojnr wrote:

No, I've witnessed similar with cars & motorbikes driving along pavements to get past traffic jams like that.

Wasn't there a video clip of that on this very site a few weeks ago?

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neilmck replied to HoldingOn | 1 month ago
0 likes

Not surprising when you see what the journalists keep saying about cyclists in the newspapers they read. Even TV channels promote a "War" between cyclists and motorists.

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