Operation Close Pass

This article was published in 2018, in Newsletter 140.

Image as described adjacent

We’ve recently had a few meetings with our local police to discuss the Cambridge implementation of ‘Operation Close Pass’, an initiative launched by West Midlands Police and proven to reduce the incidence of close passes and collisions causing injuries to cyclists. We’ve reported on this before in Newsletter 135. The Cambridge version is ‘Operation Velo’, but so far it’s failed to win the approval of local cyclists. This is mostly because the locations chosen by the police to conduct their initiative have not been in any of the close-pass areas where we’d most like to see improvements. However, there have also been issues with their approach to communications around their operations and the infrequency with which the operations have been carried out.

To help with our discussions, we did a quick poll on Twitter to find out the places that most concern our followers (see table).

Close-pass locations Particular areas of concern No. of mentions
Mill Road – On the bridge 8
Histon Road – North of Gilbert Road 8
Milton Road – Between Highworth Avenue roundabout and Arbury Road junction 5
– Golden Hind junction
– North of Gilbert Road
Arbury Road – Bottom end towards Milton Road 5
Cherry Hinton Road – Robin Hood to Mowbray Road 4
– Coming up to Queen Edith’s Way junction
– One person said ‘all’
Brooklands Avenue 4
East Road – Between Broad Street and Norfolk Street 3
– Right by the KFC
Coldham’s Lane – By the airport 3
– Towards the Beehive Centre
– Between Cherry Hinton and Sainsbury’s
Newmarket Road – Between Elizabeth Way and Tesco 3
Victoria Avenue – Pinch points, double yellow lines 3
Queen’s Road 3
Emmanuel Road – Drummer Street end 2
Devonshire Road 2
Green End Road – By cars parked in painted cycle lanes 1
Huntingdon Road – Eddington junction 1
Fen Road, Chesterton – Close passing in opposite direction as drivers avoid road humps 1
Union Lane – Close passing in opposite direction 1
Madingley Road – Between P&R and Madingley Rise 1
Mill Road and Histon Road came top of the list of close-pass areas.
Image as described adjacent Image as described adjacent

Also mentioned: Victoria Road, Grange Road, Clarendon Street, Milton Village, Lensfield Road, Gazelle Way, Mount Pleasant, Fen Causeway, Newnham Road, Davy Road, Campkin Road, Mowbray Road, and Trumpington High Street.

You can share your views on Cyclescape 3602 and we will continue to work with the police to get better action on close passes.

We’ve also provided the police with a large box of our ‘Welcome to Cycling‘ leaflets to hand out to any cyclists who are spotted cycling in an unsafe manner and we will work with them to support Operation LIT (Lights Instead of Tickets) later in the year.

Roxanne De Beaux