Transport for London (TfL) has announced a ‘world first’ trial of new technology designed to give cyclists more time on green lights.
The trials, which are taking place in London on Cycle Superhighway 3, detect the numbers of cyclists travelling along a route, which enables the traffic signal timings to be adjusted to give more green time when there are high numbers of cyclists.
TfL is testing two types of new technology – one radar based and one thermal based, which detects the heat of riders as they enter the detection zone. Three additional trials will be carried out along the cycle superhighway network to test both technologies with different junction designs.
Subject to the outcome of the trials, TfL will look to expand the use of the technology, and integrate it into the SCOOT (Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique) signalling system which manages traffic flows across London on a second-by-second basis.
More than half of all junctions in London now use SCOOT technology, which uses sensors buried in carriageways across London to detect real-time traffic conditions and optimise traffic light timings to reduce delays.
Last year, TfL carried out trials of pedestrian SCOOT which uses detectors to calculate how many people are waiting to cross the road and extend the green time to reflect demand. TfL is assessing the findings from the trials before deciding whether to introduce this technology more widely.
TfL has also received ‘blanket approval’ from the DfT to install low-level cycle signals at traffic signals where they would deliver benefits. This is the first time a UK highway authority has been given this approval and means that the signals, which are common place in continental Europe, can be installed as part of Cycle Superhighway works being carried out across London.