Campaigning cyclist’s praise for Pudsey car drivers

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Pudsey cyclist Tim Devereux.

By John Baron

A Pudsey cyclist campaigning to stop dangerous close passes on the town’s roads has praised courteous drivers for keeping their distance.

As reported by WLD, Tim Devereux has been riding with a poster on the back of his bike since January 1. The sign says in large letters: “Don’t drive so close to me! 5 feet please 😉 (Highway Code, rule 163)”.

And according to Mr Devereux, of Hough Top, it seems the sign has worked as he nears the end of his month-long campaign.

He said “When I saw the comments and Facebook reaction to the West Leeds Dispatch article about my little campaign, I was concerned – there was a good deal of hostility and anti-cycling ‘whataboutary’.

“But the subsequent weeks have shown me that road users are much more pleasant in real life! I have ridden 120km so far this month, generally short trips like shopping and errands.

“I was optimistic after a ride in the first week of January – two vehicles hung back for ages before overtaking nicely – maybe the sign has an effect! Yes, there have been some close passes – four, only one of which merited a blast of my very loud horn.

“But these have been far outnumbered by instances of driver courtesy – a lorry waiting behind me for a couple of hundred yards up Swinnow Road; a bus waiting while I was stopped to turn right, when they might have undertaken me – and then a BMW coming the other way signalled for me to make the turn.

“In our busy hurried lives, we need to make the effort to see other road users not as obstacles in our path, but as human beings – mothers, fathers, daughters, sons. On February 1st, I will take the posters off my bikes, and don’t expect to be the wrong end of loads of close passes! But I do have a very loud horn, and am saving up for a bike camera! Best wishes to Pudsey road users.”

He previously told WLD that he had been ‘close passed’ on numerous occasians in Pudsey, particularly in the Lowtown and Church Lane areas.

Mr Devereux said the More than a Cyclist campaign aims to remind road users that cyclists are people too. He also wrote a letter to WLD earlier this month encouraging drivers to “…see other road users as human beings – mothers, fathers, daughters, sons – not as obstacles”.

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