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May 11, 2021 3 min read

Kudos to everyone new who has started pedalling or got back on their bike over the past year - keep going! And the same to those of you who have been on the bike for many years.

With lots of people gearing up for an epic summer of cycling - and alongside this, with lockdowns starting to lift (we are UK & Ireland based, do follow your local guidelines), the roads are almost getting 'back to normal' - but is this a good thing? The schools are opening up as well as local businesses which is great to see. But with this in mind, we wanted to hear from cyclists on their close pass experiences... We know it (unfortunately) happens all too often. But what does our community think? Does it put people off cycling?

CLOSE PASS SURVEY

Thank you to all of those who completed our survey, we had a great response from a total of 1,900+ cyclists.

THE RESPONSES

First off, we asked everyone, 'Have you ever experienced a close pass as a cyclist? (A vehicle overtaking you, leaving you with any less than 1.5metres of space)' - and from the total 1,900+ responses, the results were:

  • 98.4% of the cyclists (1,909 people) have experienced at least one close pass before.
  • 1.6% of the cyclists (31 people) have never experienced a close pass before.

We then asked, 'If you answered yes to the above question, has a close-pass put you off cycling at all?'

  • 34% of the total cyclists (663 people) have been put off cycling because of a close pass, but they have not given up cycling.
  • 1.34% of cyclists (26 people) have been put off cycling because of a close pass, and have given up cycling as a result of this.
  • 65% of the cyclists (1,245 people) have not been put off cycling at all from the close pass or passes.

 

Finally, we asked, "Tell Us Anything About Your Close Pass Experiences" - so we summarised the open ended answers into the below categories:

The image above represents the analysis taken from the first 1,300 cyclists who completed the survey. 

    1. Drivers need to be more responsible / Aware - 29.3%
    2. It happens all too often - 14.7%
    3. Police & Authorities need to be more understanding - 11.3%
    4. 'Other' - 9.4%
    5. Suggestions / Thoughts for a Camera - 7.1%
    6. Education / awareness needed - 6.8%
    7. Scary experience - 5.4%
    8. Believed to be deliberate - 5%
    9. Conflict with pedestrians and drivers - 5%
    10. Contact / Hit by vehicle - 2.1%
    11. Down to poor infrastructure - 2.1%
    12. Stopped Cycling / not wanted to cycle because of close passes - 1.8%

 

'OTHER' RESPONSES

To give you a feel for some of the insights that fall into the 'other' category, we have highlighted some of them below:

  • "Most drivers are considerate, it's the minority who aren't".
  • "People make errors of judgement, its a human condition. Defensive and perceptive riding is key. (Cyclist since 1965)."
  • "Every Police force should have an online video reporting method to upload close passes."
  • "I’d a friend who recorded a close pass, it was passed to the police who later knocked on the door of the driver and warned about his driving".
  • "On the whole I think things on the road are better, maybe as more car drivers become cyclists as the sports popularity grows in the UK."

 

So, although the fact that 98.4% of cyclists have experienced a close pass before might make for some bad reading - so many of the comments have been so positive and uplifting around the growth of cycling at this time and also that the disconnect between road users is slowly but surely improving. 

 

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We hope this helps give you a little insight into the cycling communities thoughts on close passes, and that you keep cycling. Do follow the guidance for movement in your local area, and look out for each other on the roads.

    Jemma Nimick
    Jemma Nimick