SHOCKING near-misses where 'impatient' car drivers cut up cyclists and put lives at risk on the streets of Oxford have been exposed in a series of secret videos given exclusively to the Oxford Mail.

The 'Secret Cyclist', who does not want his identity revealed, is hoping to reveal the full scale of dangerous driving in our city where some cars, vans and buses treat bike users with a reckless disregard.

He says he has complained to bus companies about bad behaviour and asked police and councils to make the city safer, but, much like when he is out on the road, ended feeling insignificant or even invisible.

He told the Oxford Mail: "It's gobsmacking: you can see quite clearly drivers are just not seeing me, they are driving right across me.

"Buses down High Street will push me out their way, they'll overtake me then push me so I can't get through and have to divert.

"I've spoken to the county council about mandatory cycle lanes and vehicles parked on double yellow lines but they're just not interested: they've got traffic wardens out so the upshot is no one in authority is really worried about it – at least that's how I interpret it."

According to county council statistics, there were 321 incidents on the road involving cyclists last year. 70 of these resulted in serious injuries and two people were killed.

The Secret Cyclist installed his two cameras on his bike after he himself was hit by a car in Morrell Avenue in East Oxford last year.

When police told him that it was not worth pursuing a prosecution without more evidence of who was at fault, he determined it would not happen again.

The 48-year-old family man from Cumnor now has dozens of videos of careless cars and buses hogging the road – as well as his own attempts to confront the drivers.

The Secret Cyclist is happy to admit that there are some of his tribe who are far from perfect.

"I'm a pretty cautious cyclist but there is a huge number who are quite reckless, and there is bad behaviour.

"I've got videos of people on bikes going through red lights – I am sure a lot of cyclists could improve their behaviour."

The number one problem? According to the Secret Cyclist it is 'impatient drivers' who can't wait a few seconds to overtake.

"I think it is purely impatience in most cases.

"Some of the videos on Botley Road I'm in solid traffic and a bus pulls out to overtake me even though they can't go anywhere.

"All of this time I'm wearing a bright green florescent jacket, but I still manage to be invisible."

He added: "I'm just one cyclist, there are thousands more out there so whatever is happening to me is happening to all of them as well."

As for his solutions, the Secret Cyclist is calling for the same thing city cyclists have been demanding for years: more cycle lanes on all roads of better quality.

In the meantime he said he wants police to take 'more action' to make roads safer for cyclists.

He has also proposed that illuminated signs around the city reminding drivers to watch out for cyclists or even saying 'what's the hurry?' could genuinely help.

Stagecoach Oxfordshire and Oxford Bus Company both told the Oxford Mail that all their drivers are trained in driver awareness and that all complaints were investigated fully and action taken on drivers at fault where necessary.

Oxfordshire County Council said in a statement: "We’re interested in hearing the views of cyclists, pedestrians and motorists alike on their experience of using Oxfordshire’s roads. Suggestions on change are always welcome though must always be viewed through the prism of the financial realities that face all councils.

"We have already published three ‘corridor studies’ setting out how the Botley, Woodstock and Banbury Road corridors (extending from the city centre out in to the neighbouring districts) could be improved for cyclists, including proposals for extensive physical segregation of cyclists from traffic.

"Further, similar studies are due to be completed for other parts of the city by spring 2018.

"We’re currently spending £12.5m on Access to Headington with 12km of new or improved cycle lanes, plus £3.6m on the Riverside Routes cycling project.

"Our Local Transport Plan and Oxford Transport Strategy include ambitious proposals on cycling. We are working closely with the city council as it prepares its new Local Plan to find opportunities for the city’s future development to help support more cycling, and safer cycling."

CYCLING accident statistics 2016

Oxfordshire (including Oxford)

  • Fatal 2
  • Serious 70
  • Slight 249
  • Total 321


  • Fatal 1
  • Serious 25
  • Slight 152
  • Total 178

Thames Valley Police said it the issue serious and that bad driving was a major cause of accidents.

Spokesman James Williams said: "Collisions on the road are one of the leading causes of death in the UK. Many of these incidents could easily be prevented by driving more safely.

"Driving and cycling safely is the responsibility of the motorist and cyclist. Bad driving and cycling can put people’s lives at risk, cause life changing injuries or have lasting effects on the mental health of those involved.

"Many fatal or serious collisions on our roads can be linked to the 'fatal four': speeding, distraction, not wearing seat belts and driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

"Our Roads Policing department is a joint unit with Hampshire Constabulary and carries out various enforcement operations across the region, including M27, M275 and large parts of the M3, M1, M4, M40 and M25 motorways in addition to the trunk roads.

"The unit also investigates motoring offences and through effective, information led patrols, engagement and educational programmes with our partnerships aim to deliver a safer and more secure road network across the Thames Valley and Hampshire."