The adage ‘paint is not protection’ is a well worn one by now within cycling circles, but its continued importance in the debate on cycling infrastructure was underlined this weekend for one cargo bike rider from Staffordshire, who narrowly avoided colliding with a clumsily U-turning motorist – while riding in a painted cycle lane.
road.cc reader Jim and his seven-year-old daughter were on their way back from a carnival in the Staffordshire market town of Rugeley yesterday when a motorist, travelling in the opposite direction, attempted a U-turn. The driver, however, seriously misjudged their turning circle and veered right across into the cycle lane, almost hitting the oncoming cargo bike rider.
The motorist, who was also driving an untaxed car, has been reported by the cyclist to Staffordshire Police.
***Warning: The following video contains some strong language***
— Jim Howells (@JimHowells35563) July 15, 2023
“We live in a village not far from Rugeley town and we’re lucky enough to have a short, quiet rural lane before we join the cycle lane along the main town road. Not segregated unfortunately and dashed lines so drivers park in it but it’s not usually too much of a bother. It’s a 40mph road though,” Jim told road.cc.
“So, rather than taking the car the short journey, I take my cargo e-bike which has small person carrying ability. We do the journey quite a lot to pop into town. We always wear hi vis, helmets, and helmet cam just in case.”
Describing the near miss, Jim continued: “This driver was clearly inexperienced and was attempting to do a U-turn from the opposite carriageway but fluffed the turning circle and veered into the cycle lane.
“As you can see from the footage, the driver had clear visibility of us before they attempted their manoeuvre. I think you can see her dab the brakes a little in a moment of indecision before ploughing ahead anyway.
“To be fair, I did go a bit mental with the expletives but when your child’s life is in danger you just react.
“I reported the driver to Staffordshire police and am currently waiting for a reply to upload the footage. I have been through this process before and had a good response from the police with a warning letter issued to the driver. This one felt far more serious than the last close pass I reported.”
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.
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.