Simon MacMichael December 18 2017
Cambridgeshire Constabulary, which said in October that Cambridge’s streets were to narrow for it to carry out an operation targeting drivers who overtake cyclists while leaving them insufficient room, is planning to carry out a close pass operation in the New Year, road.cc has learnt.
In October, local campaign group Camcycle said it was “beyond disappointed” at news that that the force had decided not to run such an initiative.
The operation sees plain clothes officers on bikes radio ahead to uniformed colleagues, who then pull over motorists who have made a close pass or committed an offence such as using a mobile phone at the wheel.
Drivers are educated about the space that should give cyclists with the help of a ‘close pass mat’ and Cycling UK has told road.cc that it has sent one to Cambridgeshire Constabulary.
The force runs its roads policing unit in partnership with officers from neighbouring Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, which will also receive mats.
Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s Head of Advocacy and Campaigns told road.cc: “It must be Christmas, as last week Cycling UK heard from Cambridgeshire police that they were looking into the feasibility of running operations which address close passing of people cycling in the tri-force area, including Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.
“They’re still considering the exact nature of their operation, but we’re encouraged that they’ve reached out to us and are taking the matter seriously, as we’re sure cyclists in their area will be as well.”
In March this year, the charity launched a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to buy a close pass mat for each police force in the UK.
The target of £12,000 was hit within 48 hours, with the mats – similar to the one devised by West Midlands Police for its award-winning Operation Close Pass, launched in late 2016 – sent to forces across the country.