London

London cycle hire bikes to get laser light safety feature

Blaze laser lights from the film Image copyright TfL
Image caption The Blaze Laserlights are being fitted to all 11,500 hire bikes from early next year.

Laser lights are to be fitted to bikes in London's cycle hire scheme to make them more noticeable.

The green beam in the shape of a bicycle shines on to the road 6m (19ft) in front of the cyclist.

It aims to increase cyclists' safety by making them much more visible and to overcome drivers' blind spots.

Sports personalities Jessica Ennis-Hill, Rory McIlroy and Jenson Button have starred in a Star-Wars-inspired short film to launch the new feature.

After a successful trial in September, the Blaze Laserlights are being fitted to all 11,500 hire bikes from early next year.

Image copyright TfL
Image caption Jessica Ennis-Hill hopes the lights will encourage more people to use the bikes in order to get healthy and ease traffic

So far in 2015 there have been nine cyclist deaths on the capital's roads, compared with 13 last year, according to Transport for London.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "We're always looking to develop new and innovative ways to help people cycle around the capital more safely and these green lights will help all our cycle hire users to stay seen at night."

The launch video features Ennis-Hill as a Rebel Alliance fighter, Button as a Stormtrooper and a cameo role by McIlroy.

Olympic champion Ennis-Hill said she hoped the new lights would encourage more people to use the bikes in order to "get fit and ease congestion in the capital".

Image copyright TfL
Image caption Former F1 world champion Jenson Button is taking part in a film promoting the new lights

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