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Near Miss of the Day 646: Cyclist wonders whether police force “just supports aggressive and inconsiderate driving”

Our regular series featuring close passes from around the country - today it's South Wales...

A cyclist in Swansea who was overtaken by a van driver just as they both headed into a roundabout says that the response from South Wales Police has left him wondering whether the force “just supports aggressive and inconsiderate driving” – and from the footage submitted to us as part of our Near Miss of the Day feature, it’s difficult to disagree.

Marcus, the reader who sent through the footage, told us: “This was submitted to GoSafe, but I was told that there would be no further action. Here is the response...

Thank you for your submission. Whilst you allege the van driver to be at fault for the incident, we are not of the same opinion. You are aware of the vehicle approaching, in a lane marked area where you are proceeding in lane 1 and the van is in lane 2. Whilst you advise you intend to move into lane 2 and you advise you are indicating, this does not give you an automatic right to cross into lane 2 simply because that is the direction you want to travel. You have effectively changed lanes into the side of a passing, correctly proceeding van. Please cycle with more care in the future.

Marcus said: “They are pinning this dismissal on the suggestion that I moved into the van's lane, yet the lanes are only 'separate' for the last 5m or so, and I was into the lane before the van arrived.

“Obviously I am disappointed with this response. Am I right to feel wronged here? Should I just take it on the chin, learn from it and move on, or try and appeal, not that I think I even CAN appeal.

“I am aware that it's "better to be alive than right", but to me the response in this case just supports aggressive and inconsiderate driving.”

We’ve said before that there does seem to be some kind of postcode lottery in operation about how seriously police forces around the country take such footage … and certainly, we think that if Marcus lived in another area, action may have been taken against the driver.

The clip also underlines something we regularly see in the videos our readers send through to us – a motorist putting a cyclist in danger all for the sake of saving, what, one or two seconds in this instance?

> Near Miss of the Day turns 100 - Why do we do the feature and what have we learnt from it?

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.

> What to do if you capture a near miss or close pass (or worse) on camera while cycling

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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