4,000 Santander Cycles have been fitted with ‘innovative’ Blaze Laserlights in an effort to make cyclists in London more visible and increase their confidence on the roads.
An announcement by Transport for London (TfL) on 25 October also confirmed that the lights will be fitted to the rest of the 11,500-strong Santander Cycles fleet over the next nine months.
The initiative was launched by Santander ambassador and Olympian, Jessica Ennis-Hill, who joined women on a cycle ride along the East-West Cycle Superhighway, using the Blaze Laserlights.
Blaze Laserlights, the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014, project the symbol of a bicycle six metres in front of the cycle, onto the ground, making the cyclist more visible to those around them.
The light alerts drivers and pedestrians to the approach of a bicycle and helps them to be seen when otherwise they might be invisible, for example when they are in a vehicle’s blind spot. In September 2015, 250 Santander Cycles were fitted with the technology.
An on-street survey of cyclists riding these bikes revealed that around three-quarters felt more confident, and almost half also said they would be more likely to use Santander Cycles at night with the Laserlight fitted.
TfL says one of the aims of the initiative is to encourage more people to keep up the cycling habit.
Paul Cowperthwaite, TfL’s general manager of Santander Cycles, said: “The Blaze Laserlights will make Santander Cycles even more usable in the darker mornings and evenings over winter and help to make our customers feel more confident on the roads.”
Jessica Ennis-Hill said: “Cycling in London can be a great and efficient way to get around and riding Santander Cycles with the new Blaze Laserlights leading the way makes us feel confident and safe enough to get out on our bikes in the future.”
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