Safety lasers installed on 4,000 Boris bikes before full fleet rollout
Laser technology has been installed on 4,000 of London's Santander Cycles, aka ‘Boris bikes’, that projects a bike symbol onto the ground to warn drivers a cyclist is on the road.
Following the initial run, the technology will be fitted to all 11,500 bicycles in London over the next nine months, with Santander covering the majority of the cost.
The scheme is a collaboration between the mayor of London, Transport for London (TfL) and Santander.
London start-up Blaze was the original creator of the ‘Blaze Laserlights’ which are aimed at urban cyclists.
A trial last year recorded “overwhelmingly positive feedback,” with a street survey finding around three-quarters of cyclists felt more confident riding the bikes, TfL said.
Jennifer Ennis-Hill, the retired heptathlon star, called the lights a “great idea” after completing her first ride on a bicycle fitted with the technology in London.
She led a female cycling group formed from novices who were trying out the innovation to feel safer on the roads.
Ennis-Hill said of the group: “They did really well. It was pretty good to get them in the deep end cycling in London in rush hour traffic.
“Now it’s dark and winter is drawing in it’s a great idea to have them (the lights) around you just to have that little bit of safety.
“Any campaign to get more women active and cycling and doing different sports is fantastic.”
The gold medal winner admitted she usually takes the car or walks when at home in Sheffield and said retirement gives her the “freedom to try different things”.
A record 1.2 million bike hires were recorded in July this year.
Austrian company Vello recently demonstrated a foldable bicycle that generates electric power by absorbing energy from braking and by pedalling downhill.