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Traffic lights that detect cyclists coming to York

Thermal imaging technology will identify riders' heat signatures and adjust phasing as they approach...

City of York Council says it will introduce thermal imaging technology on cycle routes in the city to identify when people on bikes are approaching and give them more “green time” at traffic lights to speed up their journeys.

The technology is the same as that trialled last year by Transport for London (TfL) on Cycle Superhighway 3 at Cable Street, and will cost £320,000 to roll out in York as part of a £2.62 million programme to upgrade the city’s traffic signals over the next five years.

The council says that the initiative, which focuses on the busiest cycling routes in the city, will see cyclists’ heat signatures detected through thermal imaging, with traffic signals adjusting their phasing accordingly.

One of the first locations where the technology will be deployed is at the junction of Fulford Road and Hospital Fields Road in May this year, with others following.

“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,” said Councillor Ian Gillies, City of York Council’s Executive Member of Transport and Planning.

“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 wider upgrade programme will see the local authority replace around half of the 122 traffic signals and 54 pedestrian crossings in the city over the next five years.

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Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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