We have received this response from the SYP Chief Constable to our email:
Thank you for your communication with the Office of the Chief Constable, apologies for the delay in replying but I have been researching your query and hoped to reply with a complete response. At present I am able to inform you that the scheme has been discussed at the Senior Leadership level and discussions are ongoing as to how we can implement this and within which department. Apologies that I cannot give you a definitive answer as to exactly when, where and how it will be done, but I will keep you updated when the decision is made. ACC Forber has been tasked by the Chief to look at this issue and to see how we can progress it.
Inspector Chris Foster
Staff Officer to Chief Constable Stephen Watson
CycleSheffield and many other groups across South Yorkshire have contacted Alan Billings, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, and Chief Constable Stephen Watson, calling for the adoption of a ‘close pass’ initiative.
A copy of the email we have sent him is below, please feel free to copy it and email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, DTindall@southyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk, SRichards@southyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk and Chief@southyorks.pnn.police.uk.
I am writing to you to request that South Yorkshire Police adopt a ‘close pass’ initiative to improve the safety of vulnerable road users, similar to the one that West Midlands Police (WMP) and many other forces are now running. Only this week West Yorkshire Police launched a similar scheme.
We understand that officers from SYP attended the WMP workshop in January but we have not had confirmation that SYP intend to adopt the initiative.
South Yorkshire has a worse per capita KSI rate for cyclists than the West Midlands (data from police STATS19 database) and the adoption of such a scheme would help improve both the safety and perception of safety of cycling in our region.
We appreciate that police resources are under intense pressure due to central government’s ongoing austerity programme, however, WMP have stated that their close pass initiative is ‘cost neutral’. Cycling UK are crowdfunding the mats used to educate drivers over safe passing distances which they are making available to every police force.
We believe that people who drive poorly/dangerously around cyclists are likely to do the same around other road users and therefore this initiative will benefit all road users, not just cyclists. It is clear from reading WMP reports that drivers stopped for driving dangerously around cyclists are often committing other motoring offences (no insurance, no tax, drunk/drug driving etc).
WMP have stated that “Our time and effort … is better spent enforcing the law and prosecuting, thus creating a scenario whereby should someone not give a cyclist the time and space necessary or fail to see them completely they should expect to be prosecuted”. This is the approach we would welcome and support from SYP.
The list of organisations that support ‘close pass’ initiative in South Yorkshire:
20’s Plenty Sheffield
7 Hills CC
Barnsley Cycle Hub
Bike Box Alan
Brake – the road safety charity
Breeze South Yorkshire
Cycles in Motion
Greg Fell – Sheffield Director of public health
Heeley Development Trust
Langsett Cycles Race Team
Peak District MTB
RoadPeace – the national charity for road crash victims
Rotherham Cycle Boost
Rotherham Wheelers CC
Russell’s Bicycle Shed
Sharrow Cycling Club
Sheffield Area Social Cycling Group
Sheffield Cycle Speedway
Sheffield Cycling 4 All
Sheffield Dirt Society
Sheffield Friday Night Ride
Sheffield Hallam University Cycle User Group
Sheffield Triathlon Club
Sheffield u3a cycling group
Skyhook Coaching Services
South Yorkshire Electric Bike Co
Strideout Running Club
Team Cystic Fibrosis
Tony Butterworth Cycles
University of Sheffield cycle forum
Yorkshire Rose CC