Cycle safety technology fitted to Council lorries

Local cyclists joined Council officers to demonstrate an innovative cycle safety system being fitted to their refuse vehicles.

Cyclear

The City of Edinburgh Council is trialling ‘Cyclear’ technology, aimed to reduce the likelihood of accidents involving cyclists and lorries.

Watch the equipment being tried out and interviews with the people using it.

The equipment comprises three elements, including an illuminated sign that lights up to alert anyone travelling towards a lorry when it is turning left and a speaker announcing the manoeuvre for additional warning.

Sensors on the side of the vehicle also detect when a cyclist travels alongside it, alerting the driver with an audible message. The system will operate and detect a cyclist if they undertake a lorry too, should the illuminated sign not be activated.

On Thursday, volunteers from Spokes cycle campaign, Cycling Scotland and Heriot-Watt University, along with Junior Road Safety Officers from Bonaly, St Cuthbert’s, St Mary’s, Nether Currie and Newcraighall primary schools, tested out the pioneering system.

Transport Convener, Cllr Lesley Hinds, said: “Cycle safety is of utmost importance to the Council so it makes absolute sense to equip our own vehicles with technology that minimises risk for all road users.

“Promoting cycling as an accessible mode of transport is a key priority in Edinburgh, and developments like this are central to creating a safe and attractive atmosphere for new and experienced cyclists.”

The Cyclear system, provided by Innovative Safety Systems (ISS), has been fitted to eight of the Council’s new refuse vehicles, with plans to introduce more in future.

Edinburgh follows City of London, Cardiff City, Luton Borough and, most recently, Midlothian Councils in introducing the technology to its fleet.

William Wright, Cycling Scotland Development Officer, said: “Any organisation operating HGVs has to ensure that they are operated safely and with utmost consideration of other road users. This is a welcome initiative from City of Edinburgh Council, taking steps to ensure safety of other road users, and it’s important that these initiatives are extended to all HGVs in the city. 

“Education and practical training is also essential to increasing mutual understanding between all road users. Cycling Scotland are working with City of Edinburgh Council to deliver Practical Cycle Awareness Training with HGV drivers, giving them the opportunity to see roads from a cycling perspective. We are using City of Edinburgh Council’s experience to enable this training to be provided in councils across Scotland.”

Last year, in collaboration with Cycling Scotland, the Council introduced Driver Awareness training for drivers of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs), aiming to make them more aware of the dangers facing cyclists on the roads.

While the rate of casualties amongst those cycling on the road has decreased over the last decade, figures show that a significant proportion of the incidents that do happen are associated with HGVs.The Council is now looking for feedback from cyclists who have encountered their refuse lorries fitted with Cyclear technology.

Email transport.roadsafety@edinburgh.gov.uk to let us know how effective you found the system.

Photographs of the equipment is available on the Council Flickr page.

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