A recent attempted crackdown on close-passing drivers in Bath had to be aborted due to insufficient traffic speed. Police had hoped to educate drivers who passed too close to cyclists on Friday, but heavy traffic on Lower Bristol Road meant that those on bikes were actually the ones who were passing motorists.
Alex Bowden June 7 2017
However, The Bath Chronicle reports that only one driver was stopped in Bath as the traffic was too slow.
Officers reacted by moving further along the A4, but motorists were said to be leaving plenty of room on what is a much wider road.
Chief Inspector Kevan Rowlands, head of road safety for the force, said:
“Only one driver was stopped in Bath but there was lots of passing interest. The operation is not just about the motorists and cyclists stopped, it is about raising awareness of the danger caused to cyclists by motorists passing too closely.
“The reason we didn’t stop many vehicles is that the traffic flow at the time of the operation was too slow. Our cyclists were not being passed by traffic – it was the other way round.
“We did go further out along the A4 but we were pleased to see that car drivers were leaving plenty of room for the cyclists at that location.
“The operation was a success in raising awareness but it was the first time it had been run in the Avon and Somerset area and we will review the timing and location for next time.”
The equivalent operation in Bristol was slightly more eventful. Seven drivers and two cyclists were stopped by officers, while one driver was reported for careless driving and no MOT.
Some suggested locations for close-pass operations in Bath
Local cycle commuters – including those in the road.cc office – could have pointed Avon and Somerset Police towards a number of roads in the area where the traffic moves freely even during the rush hour and which are well known among local cyclists as close passing blackspots.
Southbound leaving Bath on the A367 Wells Road, an uphill stretch that climbs for about a mile from the city centre features pinch points near the top between which traffic accelerates.