Give cyclists plenty of space. This is the message from Basingstoke's road policing team.

Hampshire Constabulary is relaunching its ‘Give Space, Be Safe’ operation to target drivers who fail to pass cyclists safely.

It comes as the government is urging more people to avoid public transport and get fit by cycling.

But cyclists are one of the most vulnerable road users and each year,

PC Paul Farquharson, from the Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit, said: “A close pass not only presents danger to the cyclist but it’s also intimidating. Drivers should be allowing other road users as much room they would a car – but many seem to not know this, or choose to ignore it.

“At this time of year we are coming into summer and more people are deciding to get their bikes out and start cycling. Many cyclists will still choose to commute to and from work; from a safety perspective motorists need to take added care to look out for cyclists. Equally cyclists need lights on their bikes not only to avoid prosecution but to keep them safer and visible when riding after sunset.

“I have heard from many cyclists that they would like more to be done to ensure drivers keep their distance when overtaking them. This is why I am pleased to see that the constabulary is working to educate drivers on the dangers of close passes and taking action against those caught putting others at risk in this way."

“It is only by all road users respecting each other; observing the rules of the road and what is going on around them; anticipating the actions of other road users and reacting according to their observations and the conditions that we can together make our roads safer.”

As part of this campaign officers will be out and about between Sarum Hill and Worting Road keeping an eye out for close passes.

As an alternative to prosecution offenders are offered to attend, there and then, a nearby educational advice on the Highway Code and safe driving, as well as completing a road-side eyesight test and have their documents checked.

During the week cyclists will be offered equipment as well as information.

Ultimately we are about making the roads safer for all and make sure we all get to our destinations safely.