New technology could reduce delays for cyclists


A world first trial of new technology which aims to give cyclists more time at green lights was announced by Mayor Boris Johnson today.  The trials are taking place along Cable Street on Cycle Superhighway 3.

The aim of these trials is to detect the number of cyclists travelling along a route – traffic signals will be adjusted to give more green time when there is a higher number of cyclists at key junctions during peak times.

This experiment is a development from the Pedestrian SCOOT trials, where pedestrians are given more time to cross when there is a higher frequency of people at crossings.

“With record numbers taking to two wheels we are doing everything we can to make our roads more inviting places to be,” said Boris Johnson.

Two kinds of technology are being tested – a radar based and thermal based one. The thermal based technology measures the heat of cyclists entering a detection zone to calculate the effectiveness of identifying cyclists. Transport for London (TfL) will carry out three additional trials along the superhighway to test both technologies.

The data aims to produce a system that works on a second-by-second basis. If the trials are successful TfL will introduce this scheme across the capital to accommodate the growing number of cyclists.

More than half the junctions in London use SCOOT technology to adjust traffic lights – so far the system has reduced delays by up to 12 per cent.

By 2018 it is hoped that all junctions in London will have this technology in place. The trials are being introduced as part of TfL’s Road Modernisation Plan.

In 2013 the Mayor of London introduced a £913million programme, Vision for Cycling in London, to improve the infrastructure and safety for cyclists.

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