Council to roll out cyclist-friendly thermal technology

Pioneering thermal imaging technology is set to be introduced on key cycle routes in York to help reduce the time spent at traffic signals, improve journey reliability and cycle safety.

City of York Council is set to become one of the first councils in the country to start using the new technology which will accurately detect cyclists at signals by their ‘heat signature’, allowing the signals to react accordingly and be adjusted to give more ‘green time’ for cyclists.

The thermal technology was first introduced by Transport for London (TFL) last year as part of the cycle superhighway network and in York will be rolled out at junctions with high levels of cycle use across the city.

Big money overhaul

The scheme is all part of a multi-million pound overhaul of York’s ageing traffic signals – the largest scheme the city has seen in more than 20 years.

Cllr Ian Gillies, Executive Member of Transport and Planning, said: “Investing now will help to bring our systems into the 21st century, saving vital time spent otherwise on repairs and maintenance and more importantly saving money from the public purse.

“By investing in this cutting-edge equipment, it will help to keep York’s roads moving, improving journey reliability and the overall driving and commuter experience in York for future years.”

The authority is proposing to take a new approach and is replacing approximately half of the 122 traffic signals and 54 pedestrian crossings in the city over a five-year rolling programme with modern equipment.

The costs for the whole scheme are around £2.6bn, over six years. Of this, £320,000 for detector equipment was allocated in the capital programme for 2015/16 through the existing Local Transport Plan budget over the next five-years.

Last year the Future City Glasgow project won two awards for its sensor-driven lights for cyclists.

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