UKH

Close pass operation

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 Yanis Nayu 22 Sep 2021

I guess the police and Dame Sarah Storey were giving off angry vibes when they did this operation given the percentage of drivers pulled over. 
 

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/road.cc/content/news/dame-sarah-storey-joins-sheffield-police-close-pass-op-286539%3famp

 abr1966 22 Sep 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Yep!!!

Had a macdonalds drink thrown on me today...bastards...tried to chase them but didn't have the watts!!!

Post edited at 22:19
 Yanis Nayu 22 Sep 2021
In reply to abr1966:

Have a word with MG and he’ll explain to you that you’re exaggerating and that it was probably your fault anyway. 
 

Ive had nuts and bolts thrown at me and been spat at but no (semi) food-based products as yet. 

 abr1966 22 Sep 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Agreed! 

Must have been doing something to provoke it riding along on a wide flat road minding own business!

 Tom Valentine 22 Sep 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Policeman suggests that the Highway Code doesn't apply to the Snake Pass and accuses anyone who disagrees of whataboutery.

11
In reply to abr1966:

> Had a macdonalds drink thrown on me today...bastards...tried to chase them but didn't have the watts!!!

Do you have a camera? I would have thought that doing that would have to lead to some sort of police follow up if you got the f#*cker's reg plate on camera.

After the car crash (bike crash?) of the thread the other day, I have been riding the past couple of days waiting for people to yell at me or throw things, but touch wood - still much the same as normal, some inconsiderate prats passing too close for comfort time to time, but nothing worse than that.

Two morning this week I've worn full gloves as it has been well into single figures leaving home! Winter is coming...

 Timmd 22 Sep 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

The reflexive press of the accelerator from some drivers upon cycling past them can be an interesting one, too, have had drivers play leapfrog with me because it's bothered them not to be 'getting ahead and prospering', or whatever it is they feel.

It shouldn't be that important a thing to be overtaken by a bike while in a car in traffic, it's not a measure of status or progress in life, it's weird when it happens, as if they forget how much more effective their car is.

Post edited at 23:36
5
 abr1966 23 Sep 2021
In reply to TobyA:

No....no camera! 

An infrequent experience for me but the 3rd time in about the last decade, would love to have caught up with them....

On balance though it was a 60k ride and that was the only issue...

 gethin_allen 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Tom Valentine:

Are you referring to this quote in the article

"Referring to the rule which says, among other things, that cyclists “should never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends,” the inspector revealed, “We’ve already seen some ‘what about Highway Code rule 66’ whataboutism on twitter by people trying to justify close passes."

The part you need to focus on is the the last five words. You can not justify a close pass, it's breaking the law and that's that. The cause of such an action can be debated, and this will be either lack of attention, ignorance or malice. None of these will stand up as a defence.

 Tom Valentine 23 Sep 2021
In reply to gethin_allen:

I have never tried to justify a close pass. In fact, the only road rage incident  I've ever been involved in arose out of my refusal to pass a cyclist who was riding through Delph while an Audi behind me continually pipped his horn at me  and gesticulated that I should pass the rider. At the next junction I got out and we exchanged heated words, him saying that I had ample room to pass and me saying that it wasn't his call to make.

Quoting and following the advice of the Highway Code is not an attempt to justify close passes or even conceding that close passes are occasionally acceptable. For a police officer to accuse people who abide by the Highway Code and want others to do so as well  of "whataboutery"  is irresponsible, to say the least.

Post edited at 08:39
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 gethin_allen 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Tom Valentine:

I'm not questioning your driving, I'm questioning your interpretation of what the police officer said and which I still don't believe you have understood.

They were opposing people trying to quote the highway code to excuse their illegal and poor quality driving.

You can't excuse breaking the law because one person may be interpreting the rules in one way by say, riding in a group where one person may consider the road to be narrow and others may not, you can not justify making an action that could have lethal consequences because your journey is going to take 5 minutes longer.

1
 LastBoyScout 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Tom Valentine:

Had one the other day where I'd been following a cyclist for a while, as I deemed it not safe enough to pass and then the car behind me got pissed off and overtook us both!

Where he overtook me, the road had widened and there was enough of a gap in the traffic, but I hadn't bothered as I was turning left slightly further along (so avoiding left-hooking the cyclist), but it was too early to indicate.

 Ciro 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Tom Valentine:

> I have never tried to justify a close pass. In fact, the only road rage incident  I've ever been involved in arose out of my refusal to pass a cyclist who was riding through Delph while an Audi behind me continually pipped his horn at me  and gesticulated that I should pass the rider. At the next junction I got out and we exchanged heated words, him saying that I had ample room to pass and me saying that it wasn't his call to make.

> Quoting and following the advice of the Highway Code is not an attempt to justify close passes or even conceding that close passes are occasionally acceptable. For a police officer to accuse people who abide by the Highway Code and want others to do so as well  of "whataboutery"  is irresponsible, to say the least.

“My reply is that on this road, the only safe place to be to overtake is on the opposite side of the carriageway (it is a 50mph road), and if you need to be on the opposite side of the carriageway, it doesn’t matter how far into the road the cyclists are, if there’s no room on the opposite side of the road, there’s not enough room to overtake.”

On a blind bend on a double white line, the cyclist should be taking up a position that attempts to block the driver from trying to squeeze past. Whataboutery is a pretty mild term for trying to justify the actions of drivers who squeezed past anyway despite the cyclist taking up a good road position. 

2
 Tom Valentine 23 Sep 2021
In reply to gethin_allen:

Here is my understanding of what the police officer said:

On the Snake Pass the only safe way to overtake is by driving entirely on the opposite side of the carriageway. This means that it doesn't matter how much of the road a cyclist/ cyclists are occupying because you will need to be on the other side of the white lines to pass them safely.

Here is what I take it to mean:

If it doesn't matter how much of the carriageway cyclists occupy then rule 66 does not apply on the Snake Pass and anyone who disagrees and quotes the rule is guilty of whataboutery.

9
In reply to Tom Valentine:

Do note that Rule 66 is a should, not a must. It's a recommendation. It's a good rule to try and apply but if you have a reason not to you are not breaking the law, and it materially does not make a difference to whether you can be safely overtaken under a lot of circumstances (where a safe overtake would involve going fully into the opposite side of the road). What the policeman is saying is that quoting rule 66 there to justify a close overtake is literally a "look, squirrel!". You need to be on the opposite side of the road whether you are overtaking one, two or three cyclists riding abreast.

Post edited at 09:50
In reply to Tom Valentine:

I take the rule 66 bit about narrow or windy to be essentially that you shouldn't ride two abreast if the road is sufficiently narrow that you'd be too close to cars going the other way. Where there's a line down the middle this is unlikely to ever apply. What he seems to be discussing is overtakes without enough visibility in front, on a road that probably isn't narrow enough for rule 66 to apply anyway, hardly seems to be disagreeing with the highway code...

Post edited at 10:00
 Tom Valentine 23 Sep 2021
In reply to stevevans5:

Maybe Rule 66 as it stands needs rewriting. I understand there are already discussions about this. But at the moment it's what we've got. 

2
 Yanis Nayu 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

I think the big glaring thing getting missed in the nitty gritty debate about Rule 66 is that 1 in 5 drivers put a cyclist’s life at risk in an operation conducted by the police. That’s shocking. It also backs up what I’ve said on other threads about the standard of driving around cyclist where I was accused of being a liar. 

 Yanis Nayu 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Tom Valentine:

Maybe we need a rule 1 which says “Don’t endanger other people’s lives with your impatience and/or hatred of them”. That might be a good overarching principle. 

In reply to Tom Valentine:

What would you be hoping to achieve from a change to rule 66?

 deepsoup 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Tom Valentine:

> Here is my understanding of what the police officer said:
> On the Snake Pass ...

They didn't carry out their operation on the Snake Pass and it isn't mentioned anywhere in the article.  I'm not sure that's the only way you're reacting to what you think you read rather than what you actually read.

"Whataboutery" is precisely what it is when a person tries to deflect attention away from their own shortcomings by pointing out someone else's.  "Ok, ok, I know close passes are dangerous and illegal, but what about..."

Close passes are still illegal and dangerous if the cyclist isn't complying with your interpretation of the highway code, still illegal and dangerous if they're not wearing a helmet and you think they should be, still illegal and dangerous if you think the police officer currently giving you a talking to about it in a layby should be out chasing a burglar somewhere instead.

In reply to Tom Valentine:

It certainly wouldn't do any harm to remove some of the ambiguity and interpretation!

Edit to say - what proportion of drivers would actually realise that anything had changed? Would it just become another misunderstood thing like how cyclists two abreast actually take twice the distance to overtake or how merging in turn at a lane closure is more efficient than everyone trying to squeeze in early leaving an empty lane? 

Post edited at 10:04
 deepsoup 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I think the big glaring thing getting missed in the nitty gritty debate about Rule 66 is that 1 in 5 drivers put a cyclist’s life at risk in an operation conducted by the police. That’s shocking.

It's grim.  Scant consolation, but I seem to see a disproportionate number of dodgy overtaking manoeuvres generally along that stretch.  (And after a year and a bit off, the regular stressed-out commuter madness seems to be returning.)  Things being worse than average there in particular will probably have been part of the reasoning for running the operation there.

 gethin_allen 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Tom Valentine:

> Here is my understanding of what the police officer said:

> On the Snake Pass the only safe way to overtake is by driving entirely on the opposite side of the carriageway. This means that it doesn't matter how much of the road a cyclist/ cyclists are occupying because you will need to be on the other side of the white lines to pass them safely.

You've added to what the police officer said so I'll include the quote below:

"My reply is that on this road, the only safe place to be to overtake is on the opposite side of the carriageway (it is a 50mph road), and if you need to be on the opposite side of the carriageway, it doesn’t matter how far into the road the cyclists are, if there’s no room on the opposite side of the road, there’s not enough room to overtake.”

My interpretation of this is that in order to pass a cyclist with suitable passing distance of at least 1.5 m then the driver has to cross the centre markings of the lanes and use the other carriageway, the lane is not wide enough to accommodate a cyclist + a vehicle + a safe passing distance. Therefore the oncoming carriageway must be clear or they will crash into oncoming traffic. In which case it does not matter if you are crossing partially or wholly into the opposite carriageway and therefore it is irrelevant whether or not the cyclists you are passing are in single file or riding as a group.

When you add this to the police officers other comments about riding in a central position being safer due to visibility etc. and also to the fact that it is easier for a vehicle to pass a group of cyclists that are occupying approximately the same space as a vehicle than it is to pass the same number of cyclists strung out in a line that would be longer than a truck it sometimes makes a lot of sense to ride as a group and it would be good if drivers would concede that cyclists are doing this in some attempt to improve their safety and not in some way to wind up drivers. Why on earth would any cyclist want a pissed of person in a 2 ton killing machine behind them?

 deepsoup 23 Sep 2021
In reply to LastBoyScout:

> Where he overtook me, the road had widened and there was enough of a gap in the traffic, but I hadn't bothered as I was turning left slightly further along (so avoiding left-hooking the cyclist), but it was too early to indicate.

Um..  that's ok then isn't it?
(But kudos to you for not being that guy who overtakes a bike and then immediately turns left in front of them.)

 Yanis Nayu 23 Sep 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

I had someone recently pass me to get alongside, then turn into the side road I was passing I.e right into the side of me. I had to shout and sprint and she passed just behind me. It’s impossible to explain or get into the mind of these people. I’ve had drivers pass within inches of me at high speed on wide, straight empty roads. One of them did that to me then swerved right across to the other side to avoid a flattened dead fox. 

 deepsoup 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I’ve had drivers pass within inches of me at high speed on wide, straight empty roads.

I think that's the one that most baffles me.  Drivers who pull out a tiny bit but no more on a straight empty road that they can see is clear for miles ahead.  When you're already crossing the centre line to just barely miss a person's elbow why on earth wouldn't you just use the whole width of the road and give them loads of space?

It's not just a cyclist thing, pedestrians too.  I see so many drivers who don't slow down at all and don't give an inch to people walking & running at the side of the carriageway on rural roads.

I'm not sure if it's a Covid related thing, people getting out for walks and wotnot who haven't really spent any time walking in the countryside before and aren't particularly aware of OS maps etc., but over the last year or so I've noticed a lot more people walking along the stretch of the A57 just a bit further out, from Cutthroat Bridge down to the Ladybower Inn.  (There's a nice bridleway that avoids the road there and goes above Ladybower quarry, but I guess they're not aware of that.) 
The twisty bit between Ladybower Brook and the quarry must be absolutely terrifying.

I'm not sure if it's connected to this operation in the OP btw, but SY Police have recently been running a 'close pass' operation involving horses too.

Edit to add:

> I had someone recently pass me to get alongside, then turn into the side road I was passing I.e right into the side of me. I had to shout and sprint and she passed just behind me. It’s impossible to explain or get into the mind of these people.

Thinking on though, I think I do understand the mind of that person.  I think that was somebody thinking about other things, driving on autopilot and simultaneously aware and unaware that you were even there.  Conscious mind thinking about other things, dissecting the argument over breakfast with stroppy teenage daughter or whatever, seeing you on your bike but not passing the message on to unconscious mind that's been left driving the car unsupervised.  I've done it myself a couple of times over the years, quite a disturbing experience.

It's a similar process, I think, to when you see people look right at you and pull out of side roads a bit before stopping again.  (It happens to motorcyclists too.)  It's as if they look and ask themselves "is there a car coming?".  "Nope." and then they've already started to pull out before another part of their brain arrives with the message "..but there is something else though." and (hopefully) the brakes go on.  By which time, if the rider is paying attention, they've already started taking evasive action and the adrenaline is kicking in.

Post edited at 11:28
 Toby_W 23 Sep 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

I have a slight soft spot for the drivers who close pass me and then pull out and do a nice pass as if I was 1-2 metres ahead of where I am.  At least they're trying.  But the empty clear road things and they drive past like you're not there is terrible driving.

Cheers

Toby

 gethin_allen 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Toby_W:

> I have a slight soft spot for the drivers who close pass me and then pull out and do a nice pass as if I was 1-2 metres ahead of where I am.  At least they're trying.  But the empty clear road things and they drive past like you're not there is terrible driving.

This probably means that they hadn't seen you until the last minute and they were still pulling out after they passed you.

 EddInaBox 23 Sep 2021
In reply to stevevans5:

> ... or how merging in turn at a lane closure is more efficient than everyone trying to squeeze in early leaving an empty lane? 

Citation?  That doesn't seem logical to me, lane closures seem to almost bring the traffic to a standstill because of the selfish ****s who steam up the empty lane and force their way in, causing the car that gives way and the several cars behind them to stop and then have to get going again.  The most effective way to keep traffic moving is surely for both lanes to maintain sufficiently large gaps so that they can merge like a zip in good time whilst the traffic is still moving, which is what most people are trying to do, but then the selfish ones take advantage of the empty lane and cause the problem.

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 MG 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

>  It also backs up what I’ve said on other threads about the standard of driving around cyclist where I was accused of being a liar. 

You weren't accused of lying and the discussion wasn't about standards of driving.  Otherwise spot on. 

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 wintertree 23 Sep 2021
In reply to EddInaBox:

> Citation?  That doesn't seem logical to me, lane closures seem to almost bring the traffic to a standstill because of the selfish ****s who steam up the empty lane and force their way in, causing the car that gives way and the several cars behind them to stop and then have to get going again.  

Let's get some background ranting out of the way first:

  • There has to be a point where 2 lanes merge to 1.  
  • Leaving a lot of "empty lane" just moves the car merge point away from the physical merge point.  
  • There should be no "empty lane" because there is no benefit to merging happening further up the flow of traffic from the obstruction, and there is a down side in that the slow moving block of traffic is moved away from the obstruction towards up-stream junctions potentially causing knock on disruption.
  • If the car merge point is the physical merge point, there is no ambiguity about position.
  • With no ambiguity over the merge position, there is  no interplay of
    1. Some people driving on in their lane to merge at the correct point
    2. Some other people who foolishly merged early resenting (1) as "selfish ****s" and playing silly buggers to try and prevent (1) from merging at the correct point.

Right, having established that people merging much earlier than they need to and then going on to fume to themselves in the left lane about how people driving appropriately in the right lane are part of the problem, we can move on to ask if merging in turn actually works better?

I've experienced conditions where merging in turn at the physical merge point does indeed work and keeps everything flowing.  It's not a difficult concept but perhaps it's beyond some motorists.  A lot of whom seem desperate to merge as early as possible for absolutely no reason, creating ambiguity about the merge point and creating a non-cooperative mentality at the actual merge point.

It's not a "zip merge" because it should not travel up the road like a zip.  

4
 deepsoup 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Toby_W:

> I have a slight soft spot for the drivers who close pass me and then pull out and do a nice pass as if I was 1-2 metres ahead of where I am.

I just edited the post you replied to there to add a bit more, and I think this is another example of that: when the driver is concentrating on something other than driving.  And by the time the bit of the brain that has clearly seen you but is currently busy dissecting that mornings' argument over breakfast with stroppy teenage daughter remembers to pass on the message "Ooh - a bike!" to the part of the brain that's been left in charge of driving the car in the meantime it's too late and they're already past.

Driving a car is such a routine thing that we mostly just completely forget that we're operating a large powerful dangerous machine.  It's extraordinary really, when you think about the exaggerated care an arborist, say, has to take to protect members of the public from the process of using a chainsaw when it would actually be *so* much easier to kill someone with the pickup on the way to the job.

In reply to EddInaBox:

Loads of articles and youtube videos on this but here is one:

https://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/legal/merge-in-turn

You actually contradict yourself a bit, you're absolutely correct that the most efficient way is to zip merge (ie merge in turn), logically this can only happen at the merge point or it's going to be a free for all with one lane ending up empty and fast. As some people put it - if they wanted you to merge early they'd put the merge point earlier! As the article above says this only applies to slow traffic, if it's free flowing then common sense applies and it's safest to find a suitable gap earlier

 Hooo 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Out of interest, where do you ride where this sort of thing happens? I believe you and I'm not suggesting it's your fault, but this has never once happened to me. The only malicious incident I've ever experienced was when some kids threw fireworks at me when I was on a motorcycle.

Of course I experience regular close passes and other dangerous stupidity, and the occasional shout of "pay your road tax", but I've never been deliberately threatened with a vehicle or had anything thrown at me. 

 Tom Valentine 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Alkis:

I'm not the one proposing changes but less ambiguity can hardly be a bad thing.

Sorry to all for equating A57 with the Snake: I do the same with Woodhead/A628 and Isle of Skye /A635 even though the latter also passes  the top of my avenue deep inside the People' Republic.....

 Darkinbad 23 Sep 2021
In reply to stevevans5:

Nailed it.

The Americans do this sort of thing much better, on the whole. Although they do tend to throw their hands up at the concept of roundabouts - almost literally in the case of a Canadian friend on his first encounter with one while driving a club minibus, much to the alarm of his passengers.

 Yanis Nayu 23 Sep 2021
In reply to MG:

Sorry, you downgraded to ‘exaggerating for effect’ or similar. 

1
In reply to Tom Valentine:

> I'm not the one proposing changes but less ambiguity can hardly be a bad thing.

I'm not suggesting that you are the one proposing the changes, my question is more like what do you feel needs to change, what is ambiguous about it? Like a lot on the Highway Code it's a recommendation, it's not really any more ambiguous than any other "should" in there.

 EddInaBox 23 Sep 2021
In reply to stevevans5:

I think I misinterpreted what you were saying and we are broadly in agreement, I was thinking of the scenario I encountered a few days ago on a motorway where the gantry signs indicated two lanes closed with no way to know how far ahead.  The majority of the cars started merging as soon as they saw the signs but the arses steaming up the empty lanes and pushing in caused the whole queue to end up in a frustrating crawl.

1
In reply to EddInaBox:

Ah yes - agreed with that one

 Yanis Nayu 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Hooo:

North Cotswolds / South Warwickshire/ Worcestershire generally. I do 10,000 plus miles a year though. We had some local lads driving round pushing cyclists off their bikes last year such that some roads were off-limits. A few cyclists ended up in hospital; my mate who is happened to was just bruised. 
 

Getting abuse / stuff thrown at you is very rare though and bothers me far less than the regular close passes, some of which are just terrifying. 

In reply to Yanis Nayu:

It's not just bikes, I run along a country lane as part of a regular lunchtime circuit. I run 'against' the traffic, so I can see what's headed my way and often have to dive into the hedge because moronic drivers just seem to push on past me, despite a car coming in the opposite direction.

I don't think there is a particular hatred of cyclists, it's more car drivers Vs the rest of the world.

(I'd be interested to hear from any horse riders on here - I suspect they would say the same).

 mondite 23 Sep 2021
In reply to blurty:

> (I'd be interested to hear from any horse riders on here - I suspect they would say the same).

I think horses, generally, are treated better but just down to the fact even the dimmest and least observant driver can understand them as a threat even to someone in a car.

For at least a few of the drivers who close pass it does seem down to general incompetence eg they do display other bad driving whilst still in sight.

 Tom Valentine 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Alkis:

In using the word "ambiguous" I was repeating/ paraphrasing comments made by British Cycling and Cycling UK in discussions about Rule 66.

I  do find it a bit confusing, though: if it is generally safer to ride two abreast because you are then treated as a unit the same width as a car, why does this not apply all the time?  Is it because on some stretches you will cause a backlog of traffic?  Cycling UK talk about "reverting to single file when it makes overtaking safer".  What are the situations where single file makes overtaking safer, bearing in mind that you have immediately made yourself more vulnerable by reducing your presence on the carriageway.

 climbingpixie 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Tom Valentine:

> What are the situations where single file makes overtaking safer

If the road is wide enough for a car to safely overtake a cyclist without needing to go onto the opposite carriageway. Or if a road is so narrow it would be impossible to safely overtake two cyclists but would be possible to overtake one.

In reply to Tom Valentine:

For me, as mentioned before it's when the road is narrow to the point where cycling two abreast puts you too close to the cars coming the other way. Roughly the point where there's no centreline. In some of these cases it's going to be too narrow to safely overtake at all, but there are roads where it's wide enough to give one cyclist enough space but not two. 

 Yanis Nayu 23 Sep 2021
In reply to blurty:

Yes, I’ve had mates stranded with twisted ankles when a car has driven straight at them so they had to jump I to the verge. 
 

Re: horses, it’s funny, I said to my wife that I wondered why people were happy to give them and their riders respect on the road and she informed me that if I read Facebook it’s full of people moaning about horses being on the road. 

 Timmd 23 Sep 2021
In reply to blurty:

> It's not just bikes, I run along a country lane as part of a regular lunchtime circuit. I run 'against' the traffic, so I can see what's headed my way and often have to dive into the hedge because moronic drivers just seem to push on past me, despite a car coming in the opposite direction.

> I don't think there is a particular hatred of cyclists, it's more car drivers Vs the rest of the world.

Including other car drivers, I think 'the metal box' can encourage that kind of interaction with everybody else.

In reply to Yanis Nayu:

There was a mass go slow by horse riders on local roads at the weekend, protesting about not being given enough respect on the road.

A bit like a Tory voting version of Reclaim the Streets.

1
In reply to EddInaBox:

They wouldn’t have to push in if people didn’t make petty attempts to block them from merging. There is no need for the drivers in the left lane to drive bumper to bumper and block anyone from merging. 

Half the time I end up staying in the empty lane it’s after I’ve tried to merge earlier but ended up just carrying on when people bunch up to block you. I’m not going to sit and obstruct a currently empty and open lane waiting for someone to be benevolent enough to let me merge.  

 RobAJones 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Timmd:

> Including other car drivers, I think 'the metal box' can encourage that kind of interaction with everybody else.

I've often thought about whether air bags should be restricted to only protecting passengers. Perhaps replacing them with a metal spike in the steering wheel and not allowing drivers to wear a seatbelt is a step too far though. 

In reply to wintertree:

> Let's get some background ranting out of the way first:

> There has to be a point where 2 lanes merge to 1.  

> Leaving a lot of "empty lane" just moves the car merge point away from the physical merge point.  

Yes, this really winds me up too. What do the the moronic f***wits who don't follow the clear instruction to merge in turn and then glare at and block those following the instruction think they are achieving by unnecessarily emptying a perfectly good bit of road and effectively making the single lane bit longer? The trouble is that it escalates because it makes people feel guilty about being in the correct minority using the empty lane, so they tend to merge early too (in fact I sometimes do this if I'm not in a sufficiently angry mood).

I once even had a lorry move out and straddle both lanes to stop people using the empty lane. I tried to edge round it but he just moved across - came close to a road rage incident (probably would have been if a car had done it).

6
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

A question for cyclists.  Is it considered good cycling etiquette when cycling on a long stretch of road with limited opportunity for overtaking to pull over every now and again to let cars past (as it is for other slow-moving road users such as tractors and caravans)?

In reply to Robert Durran:

"People like you" want everyone to stop and take turns!

People like me would prefer us all to keep moving by merging when we can from the point where we become aware that we are losing a lane. 

You'd get your way if they didn't put the signs so far back from the merge I suppose. 

3
In reply to Swig:

The best way to keep moving is to merge at the point where the lane goes (assuming it's a planned lane closure not a gantry with a red X). I've often wondered if everything would be better with fewer signs!

The issue with merging early is it is always going to be a free for all and attract one empty fast lane...

In reply to Robert Durran:

> A question for cyclists.  Is it considered good cycling etiquette when cycling on a long stretch of road with limited opportunity for overtaking to pull over every now and again to let cars past (as it is for other slow-moving road users such as tractors and caravans)?

YES - I definitely do this as a cyclist. Occasionally also when being tailgated in the car. I wish more of the caravans round here felt the need though...

 RobAJones 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> A question for cyclists.  Is it considered good cycling etiquette when cycling on a long stretch of road with limited opportunity for overtaking to pull over every now and again to let cars past. 

Yep, my experience driving round the Lakes is that cyclists are much better at this than car drivers. It's very rare that car drivers pull over to let me past when descending Newlands towards Braithwaite. 

 petemeads 23 Sep 2021
In reply to blurty:

I had an interesting run last year when the main A5199 was closed for a mile or so to install a new roundabout - I chose to run straight up the middle of the road, following the cat's eyes and occasional double white lines. On the way out a car came towards me, I stepped away from the centreline a couple of feet but nevertheless it sounded its horn a couple of times. What's your problem, I thought..

Turning around at the coned-off section where the diversion was in place, I jogged back down the middle of the empty road only to have a hearse coming towards me. Same thing, step away from the centreline but still get honked at at it passed. Then the original honker approached - following the hearse because he was an undertaker - and drove straight towards me to get me to stop so he could call me a f#cking idiot. Best I could manage was to shout 'none of your business' but by the time I got home I realised I should have said 'get a life'.

How come cars can manage to pass someone on their left but can't apparently cope with someone on their right?

 Tom Valentine 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

I 've always tried to make a point of leaving a few cars length open in front of me actually inviting people to merge but it's surprising (to me at least) how many won't take up the offer because there'll probably be a place for them further up the queue.

There are, of course, places where the chancers do actually need to be starved out: people familiar with Mottram will know where I mean.

Post edited at 17:21
1
 john arran 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> What do the the moronic f***wits who don't follow the clear instruction to merge in turn and then glare at and block those following the instruction think they are achieving by unnecessarily emptying a perfectly good bit of road and effectively making the single lane bit longer? 

I've even had this in timed bus lanes. You know the ones, where it's only actually a bus lane at certain times of day, and all other times it's actually the lane that cars should be in, unless overtaking. What are you supposed to do when driving in such a lane and you find your lane ahead perfectly clear but a queue of stationary traffic in the outside lane?

 Hooo 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Wow, that's about 10x the mileage I do. So I suppose 10x the incidents is understandable.

Did they ever catch the pushers? We had a bunch of lads round our way who would go out at night, drive straight at other cars with the lights on full beam and shoot out their windscreen with a catapult. I don't think they were ever caught.

 Timmd 23 Sep 2021
In reply to RobAJones:

> I've often thought about whether air bags should be restricted to only protecting passengers. Perhaps replacing them with a metal spike in the steering wheel and not allowing drivers to wear a seatbelt is a step too far though. 

I once put that thought to an older relative, how people can talk about a metal spike and things, and they commented that it didn't make any difference at the time, when the steering columns actually did act like a metal spike to go through the driver, before seatbelts became compulsory .

Possibly humans are good enough at filtering out unwanted realities for them to driver normally without a seatbelt or airbag after bit...

Post edited at 20:25
 Martin W 23 Sep 2021
In reply to mondite:

> I think horses, generally, are treated better but just down to the fact even the dimmest and least observant driver can understand them as a threat even to someone in a car.

Not in this instance: https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/people/west-lothian-teenager-left-heartbroken-after-beloved-horse-is-put-down-following-collision-caused-by-driver-loudly-revving-their-engine-3387805

In reply to Swig:

> "People like you" want everyone to stop and take turns!

> People like me would prefer us all to keep moving by merging when we can from the point where we become aware that we are losing a lane. 

I think you have misunderstood how it is supposed to work with different levels of congestion.

Anyway, If you just want to merge early, that is your problem. What I object to is the people who merge early and then disapprove, sometimes aggressively, of the people who perfectly legitimately go down the empty lane they have created.

2
 Timmd 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

In the scheme of things regarding traffic merging and the flow continuing on, somebody getting ahead and gaining a couple of minutes seems quite minor, I think it's about perspective (whatever the merits of different methods, that is). 

Post edited at 21:18
 RobAJones 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Timmd:

> I once put that thought to an older relative, how people can talk about a metal spike and things, and they commented that it didn't make any difference at the time, when the steering columns actually did act like a metal spike to go through the driver, before seatbelts became compulsory .

On one hand motorcyclists are x50 as likely to have a fatal accident, when the  consequences of a high speed crash are obvious, but do a lot of people not ride a motorbike because of this? In my first car the noise and vibration at 80mph certainly got the adrenaline flowing, just as well given the quality of the brakes. Perhaps the development of disc brakes, ABS etc. should have been allowed unencumbered but the improvements in suspension and aerodynamics could have been masked from the driver.

> Possibly humans are good enough at filtering out unwanted realities for them to driver normally without a seatbelt or airbag after bit...

Quite possibly, but probably from a selfish perspective, having looked at the stats. there is no doubt that per mile travelled British roads are far safer than they were in the 50's, if you are in a car. The opposite seems to be true on a bicycle.

Or abnormally, I'm reminded of an ex pupil who, a week after killing two classmates, due to an accident that was his fault, wrote another car off. 

Post edited at 21:22
 Timmd 23 Sep 2021
In reply to RobAJones: I guess some people accept certain risks and others don't, I do cycle in traffic still, in having decided that I like the mix of autonomy and exercise (compared to being on a bus and waiting for progress), so on some level I've accepted the risk, but I rationalise it along the lines of nobody actually wants to hit a cyclist (or very few do), and having done it since my 20's, I'm hopefully aware by now of what kinds of mistakes to look for, and to allow for being tired and needing to 'focus three times' when I am. 

Post edited at 22:38
 flatlandrich 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I think you have misunderstood how it is supposed to work with different levels of congestion.

> Anyway, If you just want to merge early, that is your problem. What I object to is the people who merge early and then disapprove, sometimes aggressively, of the people who perfectly legitimately go down the empty lane they have created.

I think this is really a British problem, or at least an English one. Many peoples ingrained need to form a single queue for everything and a total dislike for any 'pushing in'. Until roadwork companies start putting massive signs up saying 'Merge in turn here only' and there are unquestionable rules for merging at lane closures the relative chaos will continue.  

 RobAJones 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Timmd:

> I guess some people accept certain risks and others don't,

I think covid has shown, in general, we are pretty poor at assessing risk. I"ve been up the Matterhorn a couple of times, but won't cycle on the A66, that's probably irrational. 

>I do cycle in traffic still,

me too but two thirds of adults think it is too dangerous 

>in having decided that I like the mix of autonomy and exercise (compared to being on a bus and waiting for progress), so on some level I've accepted the risk,

I think much more could be done to minimise this risk. It seems universally accepted that more cycling and fewer car journeys is a good thing. 

>but I rationalise it along the lines of nobody actually wants to hit a cyclist (or very few do),

In 40 years I've only been deliberately hit, on two occasions, but I still rember both occasions vividly. Reading these threads and being a white, heterosexual man it is the only time I belong in the vulnerable group. Yes, very few people deliberately injure cyclists, but I think many are oblivious to how their actions could be perceived as threatening. 

>and having done it since my 20's, I'm hopefully aware by now of what kinds of mistakes to look for

One thing I have got from reading these threads and talking to Mrs J is that I have been too "accommodating" towards poor driving. Just because it doesn't concern/frighten me, doesn't mean it won't stop other people feeling safe cycling on our roads. 

 gethin_allen 23 Sep 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> A question for cyclists.  Is it considered good cycling etiquette when cycling on a long stretch of road with limited opportunity for overtaking to pull over every now and again to let cars past (as it is for other slow-moving road users such as tractors and caravans)?

Each to their own really, I can't vouch for "cyclists" no more than I can for "drivers" of which I am both. I'll occasionally tuck into a layby or junction if I have people waiting behind because I don't like having people driving inches from my back tyre and putting me at risk. There has to be a balance though, if you pull in every time you get a driver behind you you'd be stood at the side of the road for days.

In reply to gethin_allen:

>  I'll occasionally tuck into a layby or junction if I have people waiting behind because I don't like having people driving inches from my back tyre and putting me at risk.

So if all drivers were polite enough to drive a safe distance behind you, you would never feel obliged to reciprocate by politely letting them past?

> There has to be a balance though, if you pull in every time you get a driver behind you you'd be stood at the side of the road for days.

Obviously. Same goes for any slow moving road user.

Post edited at 00:08
6
In reply to Robert Durran:

The only two cases where I don't are if I'm going downhill at the speed limit (or not...) or if it's a very short narrow section that I know will only last a few seconds and I'd literally have to get off the road and stop to let them past.

There are a couple of places on my regular training rides where usually taxi drivers take issue with me doing 40+ in a downhill 40 and beep and flash me out of the way, resulting in my going even further right in case they get any funny ideas that would certainly result in my death. Openwoodgate to Kilburn is one such place.

Genuinely the only time I had someone get pissy about not letting them past in a short narrowing of the road, it was a Jaguar in the Chilterns and the tosser basically run us both out of the road into the gutter, with his mirror hitting my mate, and this was in a 30 with parked cars and kids playing.

 DaveHK 24 Sep 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

My impression is that close passes have become a rarer occurrence over the last few years. What's happening instead is drivers giving me plenty of room but doing so where they don't have adequate visibility or passing very slowly. Both often lead to near misses with oncoming traffic. I'm not sure how I feel about this, superficially it shows concern for cyclists but cars meeting at a combined speed of 100mph right in front of me is unlikely to be good news for me!

 wercat 24 Sep 2021
In reply to RobAJones:

I've not felt directly threatened by incidents on the A66 but the noise and volume of traffic makes it a very very unpleasant and not stress-free experience

Post edited at 10:02
 timjones 24 Sep 2021
In reply to Timmd:

> The reflexive press of the accelerator from some drivers upon cycling past them can be an interesting one, too, have had drivers play leapfrog with me because it's bothered them not to be 'getting ahead and prospering', or whatever it is they feel.

> It shouldn't be that important a thing to be overtaken by a bike while in a car in traffic, it's not a measure of status or progress in life, it's weird when it happens, as if they forget how much more effective their car is.

Surely a game of leapfrog that doesn't have 2 participants will be very short

 Timmd 24 Sep 2021
In reply to timjones:

> Surely a game of leapfrog that doesn't have 2 participants will be very short

Indeed!

It was a case of being in a hurry on my bike, and he overtook a bus and a couple of cars to get back in front, and each time I passed him (a couple more times from my being late), he reacted emotionally and glanced up and sideways at me the last time he passed me, and as I approached behind him while he was at a roundabout, he set off again with an 'eek' of tyres and that was that. He was an older guy, and I was a 20 something youth on my bike at the time, it didn't make a lot of sense.

Post edited at 13:38
 timjones 24 Sep 2021
In reply to Timmd:

Did you consider the possibility that he was also late

 Timmd 24 Sep 2021
In reply to timjones:

Ha.

 peppermill 24 Sep 2021
In reply to wercat:

> I've not felt directly threatened by incidents on the A66 but the noise and volume of traffic makes it a very very unpleasant and not stress-free experience

Blimey, which section of the A66?

 wercat 24 Sep 2021
In reply to peppermill:

I suppose between Brough (after coming back over from Alston-Middleton) and Keswick are the bits I've ridden, but I certainly tend to choose other routes now.

 peppermill 24 Sep 2021
In reply to wercat:

I was just curious, I cycle in the area semi-regularly when visiting family, the Brough-Penrith section always seems particularly grim when I've seen cyclists on it regardless of how drivers behave. especially when there's plenty of very quiet back roads that run pretty much parallel to the A66. I'm sure you're more than aware of that though!

 Slackboot 24 Sep 2021
In reply to wercat:

One of my worst while at the same time best days cycling was on the A66 from Scotch Corner to Penrith. If anyone is interested I wrote up the account on UKC under the title 'The Bike Ride from Hell'.

 One of the worst things was on another day while cycling up to Hamsterley. A car did a close pass and a hand came out of the back window and tried to push me off! I passed the car reg on to the Police. They said they would have a word. Personally I thought it should have counted as Assault at the very least. No action was taken.

 Toby_W 24 Sep 2021
In reply to Alkis:

I’ve had a couple of people with the must get past the bike mentality blast past me when I’ve been doing 30mph on my commute home only to collect themselves some points going through the speed camera.  There are two sets of traffic lights in the next 700m as well.

I feel sorry for them, stressful job, poor marriage, other worries.  It’s sad our lives make us so angry and frustrated.

Cheers

Toby

 deepsoup 24 Sep 2021
In reply to Toby_W:

That's magnanimous of you, it'd be pure schadenfreude for me!

You never know, they might end up doing a 'speed awareness' course, get lucky and sign up for one of the better ones and actually pay attention.  That'd be a good result all round.

Post edited at 21:26
 mondite 24 Sep 2021
In reply to DaveHK:

> My impression is that close passes have become a rarer occurrence over the last few years. What's happening instead is drivers giving me plenty of room but doing so where they don't have adequate visibility or passing very slowly.

I had that a couple of days ago. At least they didnt swerve back into me but it did need the other driver to slam the brakes on and almost get rear ended so swings and roundabouts.

That said did have several close passes that ride as well.

 wercat 25 Sep 2021
In reply to Slackboot:

well those folk near Wolsingham are a law unto themselves.  I had a lift from hell at the hands of two blokes from that locality once - I was looking at the door handles in the back and wondering if I could roll out to safety, stuntman style.

 wercat 25 Sep 2021
In reply to peppermill:

yes - the run from Kirkby Stephen round those roads towards Penrith is a real antidote

 Emily_pipes 26 Sep 2021
In reply to blurty:

I'm a horse rider and to entertain myself on the road into Mugdock Park, I grade drivers' passing skills. 1 being passing close and fast, 10 being the perfect pass, 15-20 mph, swinging as wide around me as the road allows. You get quite a lot of people zipping around the horse like it isn't a 400kg flight animal in the middle of the road.

The man in the Lamborghini Huracan who passed me today gets a firm 10. Gently drove up behind me (although we heard him coming a mile away, and I was bricking it because I was pretty sure my green horse would spook if the guy caned it with his loud, crackly Lambo exhaust), then swung out at a nice, easy pace and accelerated sensibly. He was probably as afraid of me as I was of him. Only in Milngavie, huh?

Post edited at 22:18
 static266 27 Sep 2021
In reply to mondite:

I passed a cyclist giving plenty of room on the A5 a few months back. I’d spotted a BMW in my mirror gaining on me very quickly (I was driving around 50mph) and to my horror I saw them pass the bike very close as an oncoming car came around a bend into their vision, the BMW swerved  back in and somehow missed the bike but it was very very close. I put my hazards on and slowed to a stop and made the BMW wait for the bike to catch back up and made him apologise. Driver was speechless, the cyclist looked like he’d rather punch the bloke in the nose but accepted his apology, thanked me and rode on. Maybe we can convert these w-anchors one at a time. 

 JimR 27 Sep 2021
In reply to static266:

I’ve done over 7000 miles this year already, have cameras on bike and submit regular police reports. Most are close passes with the occasional aggressive incident. I had to dial 999 once because a fat old guy took umbrage at me being on the road instead of being on the “not fit for purpose “ cycle path    Then repeatedly stopped in front of me. I had completely blanked him.

Post edited at 08:13

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