Our chair, Ian Carey, met with the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership on Thursday the 21st of June to discuss the adoption of a ‘close pass’ initiative in South Yorkshire.
Here is his update from the meeting:
The Chair is Chief Superindendent Rob Odell and the Manager is Jo Wherele.
Rob is a keen cyclist, as is Jo’s partner. Both clearly understand the issues.
It was a positive meeting, but adoption of the close pass initiative may be a way off.
The two main barriers from the police perspective are a lack of resources and ironically health and safety.
Rob has looked at the guidance from West Midlands and at the moment he would struggle to get a team together to try out a close pass operation. As with many public sector bodies, SY police have had massive cuts over the past few years, yet increasing demand.
The initial risk assessment is that Officers involved would face the possibility of harm. This is clearly ironic as the initiative aims to reduce the risk to cyclist.
However, Rob and Jo have agreed the following actions.
- Review the risk assessment.
- Review the available resource.
- Consider having a close pass awareness raising session at one the regular events the partnership have. I have offered our involvement.
- Raise the issue again at the next partnership meeting in July.
So, although we have yet to get firm agreement to implement a close pass operation, I feel confident that issue is being taken seriously.
As part of this mini campaign I will continue to try and make contact with the Council, Fire Service and NHS representatives on the partnership.