Transport for London has begun trials of new technology to detect the volumes of cyclists at traffic signals.
The trials are taking place along Cable Street on Cycle Superhighway 3 and detect the numbers of cyclists along a route as they head towards a signalised junction. It’s expected that they will ultimately enable traffic signal timings to adjust in real time to cater for high numbers of cyclists at key junctions during peak times.
Two types of new technology are being trialled, one radar based and one thermal based which detects the heat profile of riders as they enter the detection zone. Following the trials of the technology, TfL will carry out further trials along the cycle superhighway network.
Subject to those trials, they say they will look to expand the use of the technology as well as integrating it into London’s SCOOT system.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Once again London leads the way as we host world-first trials of technology that has the potential to bring significant benefits to cyclists. With record numbers taking to two wheels we are doing everything we can to make our roads more inviting places to be. This is another great example of how TfL can harness the power of innovation to help make it easier for everyone to get around our city.”
Garrett Emmerson, chief operating officer for surface transport at TfL, said: “These hugely innovative trials are another major step forward to create roads designed for all types of road users. By having traffic signals that are able to detect when there are high numbers of cyclists waiting at junctions, we can ensure they are given adequate time and safe passage through the junction, balancing the needs of everyone.”
British Cycling’s campaigns manager, Martin Key, said: “It is great to see that low-level traffic lights can now be installed more widely across London. They have been used successfully across Europe and make it easier for cyclists to know when it is safe for them to ride through the junction. Transport for London is again leading the way and these lights, plus other cycle friendly measures, should be available to use not only in the capital but across the whole country over the next couple of years.”