Cllr Nathan Ley urges drivers to be careful around cyclists

A COUNCILLOR is urging drivers to be more aware after he and seven other cyclists were almost knocked off their bikes.

Nathan Ley, who represents Abingdon North on Oxfordshire County Council, was cycling from Appleford towards Sutton Courtenay on Sunday (26) with members of Abingdon Cycling Club.

The eight cyclists, who were riding in two by four formation, had already been riding for about three and a half hours when a black Mercedes on the opposite side of the road “sped up towards them” at about midday.

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Nathan Ley, who represents Abingdon North on Oxfordshire County Council

“We had a car coming towards us which wasn’t really an issue,” said Dr Ley. “But it decided to cross the central white line in the middle of the road and sped up driving towards us and we couldn’t believe it was happening.

“It then graced literally centimeters away from us and it could have easily been a collision leading to severe injury or death of multiple people.

“To the group, that it was it felt like the driver was trying to achieve. Maybe they were looking at their phone or there was a glare but it’s not really an excuse.”

The cyclists all had front and rear cameras so we were able to capture footage of the incident which has since been handed over to the police.

No one was injured and they were able to carry on riding but a few of the cyclists were a bit “shaken up”.

Oxford Mail: The footage caught on the bike camerasThe footage caught on the bike cameras

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Dr Ley is now urging drivers to be more aware and careful as it may put others off cycling which the council are trying to encourage people to do for the benefit of the environment.

“As a county councillor, I’m keen on cycling not just being confident groups but for casual cyclists who are going to work or go into the shop.

“But this sort of behavior is not going to convince people to swap that car journey out for a bike trip.

“We’re in a world where there’s already too many cars on our roads than our transport network, community and environment can tolerate.

“I wouldn’t want to tarnish everyone with the same brush. Most of us who ride, we also drive cars as well, so we know that most drivers are sensitive and conscientious.

“But just please adhere to the speed limits, treat pedestrians and cyclists as vulnerable road users, because drivers are inside a massive heavy metal box which are known for injuring people.

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“It only takes is one bad egg to ruin an entire family forever. In situations like this the punishment must match the magnitude of the offence”

This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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