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Traffic light trial will see longer green lights for cyclists

Radar and thermal technology is to be used to give cyclists more time to go through traffic lights under a trial in east London.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson today revealed the cycle detection trials would take place on Cycle Superhighway 3 along Cable Street.

Technology will detect the number of cyclists approaching a set of lights and allow the green light to stay on for longer if there are high volumes.

Transport for London (TfL) intends to carry out three further trials on the cycle superhighway network before deciding whether to introduce the technology across the capital.

If successful, the technology will be integrated into London’s sophisticated traffic signalling system Scoot, which stands for split cycle offset optimisation technique.

Scoot already manages vehicular traffic flows at more than half of London junctions, where sensors buried in carriageways detect real-time traffic conditions and optimise traffic light timings.

The system has proven to reduce delays by up to 12%, according to TfL.

Johnson said: “Once again London leads the way as we host world-first trials of technology that has the potential to bring significant benefits to cyclists.

“With record numbers taking to two wheels we are doing everything we can to make our roads more inviting places to be. This is another great example of how TfL can harness the power of innovation to help make it easier for everyone to get around our city.”

Meanwhile,  TfL has received approval from the Department for Transport to install low level cycle signals at traffic signals where they would deliver benefits.

British Cycling campaigns manager Martin Key said: “It is great to see that low-level traffic lights can now be installed more widely across London. They have been used successfully across Europe and make it easier for cyclists to know when it is safe for them to ride through the junction.

“Transport for London is again leading the way and these lights, plus other cycle friendly measures, should be available to use not only in the capital but across the whole country over the next couple of years.”

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