Bus driver cycle warning system trialled in York

Media caption,
Thousands of people in York cycle to work

A warning system to alert bus drivers when cyclists are close to their vehicle is to be trialled in York.

The system involves a tag fitted to the bicycle or cyclist, sensors on the vehicle and a cab-mounted device to alert the driver.

Cycle Alert has been installed in the city's Unibuses linking the two main university sites, the city centre and railway station, organisers said.

The city is said to be the first to put the system on some of its bus network.

More than 11,000 of York's 200,000 residents cycle to work, according to the 2011 Census.

Tracked by lights

If a cyclist using the tag moves within 6ft (2m) of a bus fitted with the receiver, the driver receives a warning.

The position of the cyclist is then tracked by lights on a screen in the bus.

Image caption,
The system is to be installed on the city's Unibuses

The makers said the system alerted drivers to the risk of cyclists being hidden in a driver's "blind spot".

The University of York is to offer subsidised tags at the student union, for a cost of £5.

Other cyclists can buy a £10 device from a website, organisers said.

Fiona Macey, travel co-ordinator of the University of York, said it was "thrilled" to be trialling the device on the university bus fleet.

Peter Le Masurier, the system's designer, said: "Everybody needs to take responsibility for their own safety on the road.

"This device is not going to be perfect but the feedback from drivers is that it makes them much more aware of cyclists."

Mr Le Masurier said he had developed the technology after hearing an interview with a truck driver who had had an accident with a cyclist, and he recognised the devastation caused.

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