CYCLISTS have welcomed a new near near-miss reporting system which is designed to make cycling in Portsmouth safer.
The online tool has been created by Portsmouth City Council. It’s hoped it will shine a light on the hidden danger spots which do not feature in official accident reports.
Council officials have been working with Portsmouth Cycle Forum on the new system. The information gathered will be used to influence future road improvement plans.
Councillor Simon Bosher, Portsmouth’s cabinet member for traffic and transportation, said: ‘We believe we are one of the first local authorities in England to encourage and enable cyclists to report near-misses in this way so we are interested to see how the new system is used.
‘We all have a duty of care to look out for each other. As the highways authority we are committed to making Portsmouth’s roads safer for cyclists and reduce the number of collisions.
‘Our near-miss system will support our work while empowering cyclists to take action themselves by reporting a near miss.’
The website went live earlier this month as part of a six month trial.
Since being launched, 29 near-miss incidents have been reported. Of the cyclists who made a report 82 per cent were commuters and 93 per cent incidents occurred during daylight.
The areas in which the majority of near misses have so far been reported are main arterial routes, and mirror existing collision statistics.
Ian Saunders, chairman of the Portsmouth Cycle Forum – which represents about 1,500 city cyclists, has welcomed the scheme.
He said: ‘This will absolutely help to improve cycle safety in Portsmouth.
‘This could have a big knock-on effect on the way the council priorities future improvements.
‘There are so many near-misses that simply go unreported because they are not accidents and there are no serious injuries.
‘This new system will now collect all that missed data and help make Portsmouth’s roads safer.’
Examples of a near-miss include other road users passing too close, or a vehicle pulling in or out across a cyclist’s path.
People’s opinions on what qualifies as a near-miss may differ depending on their experience and level of confidence as a cyclist, but the council is encouraging all types of near miss to be reported.
Incidents resulting in a collision or which require police investigation should always be reported to Hampshire Constabulary.
To report a near-miss visit Portsmouth City Council’s website at portsmouth.gov.uk and search for ‘near miss’.