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Midlothian Council brings in cyclist-friendly bin lorries

Driver receives warning if cyclist is passing on the inside

Herald Scotland reports that Midlothian Council is to install cyclist detection systems on four of its refuse collection vehicles and says it is the first local authority in Scotland to take such a measure. Derek Rosie, the council’s cabinet member for roads and recycling explained ‘any new technology which helps make roads safer for cyclists is to be encouraged’.

The system features an illuminated disc depicting a bike with a strike-through on the back of each truck which lights up when the driver indicates left. There is also a sensor on the vehicle which picks up movement on the near side, alerting the driver.

The council has recently launched a survey which will inform its cycling strategy in coming years. Rosie says:

“We are encouraging as many people as possible to cycle instead of taking the car for the health and environmental benefits.”

On average, 12 cyclists are reported injured on Midlothian roads each year.

Earlier this week, waste management firm, Veolia, announced it was to spend £1m on cycling safety measures for its fleet. Each of the firm’s 3,000-plus vehicles of 3.5 tonnes or larger will be fitted with an audible warning for cyclists whenever the vehicle turns left and also cautionary warning signs. A cyclist awareness training programme will also be completed by all of its drivers by September 2015.

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