See.Sense has open its app up to all cyclists, and not just users of its smart lights, to help make UK roads safer by providing data to transport planners to help them determine where safe infrastructure is needed during the coronavirus pandemic and into the future.
The Northern Ireland-based company’s #SeeSenseReport campaign sees a free feature added to the app that enables cyclists to report issues including potholes, close passes, collisions and obstructions, with capabilities specifically relating to social distancing following shortly.
It comes as the government urges local authorities to introduce emergency infrastructure for people on bike and on foot through reallocating roadspace, something that in normal times would take time for design and implementation, including public consultation, but is rendered even more difficult by the current situation.
The crowdsourced data will be shared on the See.Sense website, where it can be viewed both by members of the cycling community as well as being accessible to local authorities to assist them in drawing up plans for cycling infrastructure.
Cyclists are encouraged to ride as much as possible during June while using the app and uploading their data, views and suggestions to it throughout the month to help make a difference to infrastructure in their own area.
The company’s co-founder and CEO, Philip McAleese, said: “This is an unprecedented opportunity for cycling in the UK. The Covid-19 crisis has been a terrible disaster that has caused an immeasurable amount of suffering, which has touched all of our hearts.
“What it has also highlighted is how little space we have for people in our towns and cities, with only small paths and narrow lanes allocated for cycling and walking, which has made it almost impossible to safely social distance in places.
“We are delighted that the government has made the decision that they have to improve walking and cycling facilities and by making the #SeeSenseReport data available, we are working to help to empower cyclists to influence change that will help to make cycling safer.”
Fellow co-founder Irene McAleese, the company’s CSO, said: “We already have an amazing community of cyclists who share ride insights collected with See.Sense products to help improve conditions for cycling.
“There is a short window of opportunity to act now to embed cycling as part of our new normal and to reap the associated health, and air quality and congestion benefits.
“Improving cycling infrastructure is a big part of the change needed to sustain this change, and we are delighted to help give the cycling public a voice in this regard.”
See.Smart already has partnerships with a number of local authorities under which cyclists are provided with its lights at a discount to help planners understand where infrastructure is needed, including Oxfordshire County Council where a year-long trial is approaching its midway point.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc 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.