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Hackney buses and bin lorries get cyclist detecting tech

Cyclear technology and cameras will help prevent and investigate collisions

Hackney Council has installed new cyclist detecting technology on many of its local buses, alerting drivers if a cyclist is close enough to be in danger.

In addition, buses have been fitted with four cameras, allowing the council to review collisions and near misses to determine what went wrong.

There are also plans to install the Cyclear technology on 24 new refuse trucks when they come onto the roads next month.

Norman Harding, corporate fleet manager at Hackney Council, said: “We have long recognised the need to take steps to improve the safety of cyclists and vulnerable road users. Cyclear is a reliable system and our drivers feel reassured to have the equipment on board.”

Back in 2013, we reported how cycling to work overtook driving in the London borough of Hackney for the first time.

The 2011 Census figures show that even before the Olympic cycling boom, more than 15 per cent of Hackney residents were cycling to work, compared with 12 per cent travelling by car.

The figures also showed a decrease in reliance on cars in Hackney in general - 65 per cent of households are now car-free, up from 56% in 2001.

In other boroughs, like Westminster, the figures lag far behind, with only 5 per cent of residents cycling to work.

Cyclear technology is in operation in a number of authority areas including Guildford Borough Council and London Borough of Sutton. The technology has also been adopted by private operators such as Serco.

The system comprises an illuminated sign and speaker to alert cyclists and vulnerable road users when a vehicle is turning left.

The latest version also has an optional sequencing sensor that alerts the driver when a cyclist or pedestrian is approaching. Vehicle operators can use one or both elements of Cyclear installed on their fleet depending on specific requirements and budget.

A bicycle ‘strike through’ sign is automatically illuminated when the vehicle is turning left to discourage cyclists from travelling down the side of the vehicle.

An audible speaker announces the vehicle’s intended manoeuvre giving a second warning to cyclists.

Sensors located on the side of the vehicle detects when a cyclist or road user is travelling from the rear to the front of the vehicle and alerts the driver with an audible warning.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on

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