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Cyclist app to report road infrastructure problems pinpoints danger hotspots

Image credit: Dreamstime

Cyclists are being asked to comment on the best ways to improve local infrastructure for them in an app from bike light firm See.Sense.

Users of the app are encouraged to write reports when they notice road conditions for cyclists are subpar in their local area such as potholes, obstructions, close passes and other danger hot zones.

A map has been generated from the data that collates all the reports and shows which areas have problems, with specific comments from individuals.

The app’s new Infrastructure Request feature will also allow cyclists to give insights into how they think routes they cycle could be improved, such as adding more space and separation to cycle lanes, more bike parking and improvements to traffic signal timing to reduce queuing.

Sales of bicycles have boomed during the coronavirus lockdown as people look for ways to exercise out of the house.

While there are no official figures for UK bike sales, trade-only forum reports from individual bike shops, which can track sales figures through their till systems, say sales have been surging ever since the introduction of measures to curtail the coronavirus epidemic were introduced in March.

The influx of new cyclists on the road may increase demand for infrastructure designed to improve safety on the roads as a survey carried out in May by Cycling UK showed that more than a third of people were considering making changes to their travel habits once lockdown is lifted.

The Government also announced a £2bn plan to improve infrastructure for cycling and walking last month and the data provided by See.Sense could help to target the money at the areas most in need of restructuring.

See.Sense co-founder Irene McAleese said: “This is a great opportunity for the thriving cycling community in the UK to come together and help make our cities safer, cleaner and more enjoyable places to cycle and walk. That’s why our app is free to everybody who wants to contribute to this effort.

“We understand that city planners and local authorities need robust evidence and a data-led approach when applying to receive additional Government funding for cycling infrastructure in their local area. Previously, that data might have been incomplete or anecdotal because there was no established way of gathering cyclist data.

“We want to use our technology to make a positive impact, especially in response to Covid-19, which is why all planners and local authorities will be able to request free reports for their area simply by registering online throughout the summer.”

She added that early tests of the new feature show that cyclists are “definitely very willing” to share their experiences on the road in the hope that changes can be implemented.

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