Road Safety News

Operation Spartan looks to protect North Yorkshire’s cyclists

Wednesday 17th May 2017

North Yorkshire Police has launched a new ‘close pass’ campaign, designed to educate drivers on the amount of room they should allow when overtaking a cyclist.

Unveiled yesterday (16 May), Operation Spartan is the first campaign to benefit from Cycling UK’s ‘too close for comfort’ kickstarter appeal which saw 970 backers pledge more than £14,500.

As a result of the appeal’s success, Cycling UK says it can now provide every police force in the UK access to a ‘close pass mat’, the first of which has gone to North Yorkshire.

The mat clearly depicts that drivers should leave at least 1.5m when carrying out an overtaking manoeuvre on a cyclist.

Operation Spartan has been developed by North Yorkshire Police working alongside the 95 Alive road safety partnership.

Traffic constable Michelle Bergstrand, Major Collision Investigation Unit, North Yorkshire Police, said: “Cyclists are some of the most vulnerable road users and Operation Spartan aims to ensure that drivers are aware of the fact they need to leave sufficient space when passing a cyclist.

“We want to ensure that every driver in our region feels confident to overtake a cyclist safely and is aware of the guidance. The close pass mat is a great way of depicting really easily exactly how much room that is and we are grateful to Cycling UK, and all those who supported the fundraising campaign, for their support.”

Cycling UK says it will be donating a mat to every police force in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales over the coming weeks.

David Murray, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns and communications, said: “We’re really pleased to see North Yorkshire Police roll out the first of our close pass mats – particularly as Cycling UK’s spiritual home of Harrogate sits squarely in their patch.

“Over the rest of May, thanks to the generosity of cyclists across the UK who supported our #toocloseforcomfort kickstarter campaign, we’ll be donating these mats to every force in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales as we aim to make it a summer of safe cycling on all our roads.”

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Are there any details of what the campaign entails and how the mat will be used in North Yorkshire?
Becky, Leeds

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