London’s entire fleet of 11,500 hire bikes is to be fitted with laser safety lights after a trial generated “overwhelmingly positive” feedback from users who said they felt safer.
The lights project the symbol of a bicycle six metres in front of the cycle, making it easier for drivers to see approaching cyclists and warning pedestrians who might otherwise step out in front of an oncoming bike.
They were developed by Emily Brooke, CEO and founder of London start-up Blaze which makes products for urban cyclists.
Scheme sponsors Santander UK will pay for the lights’ addition to the bikes as part of its partnership with TfL. The bank has vowed to “promote and improve” the scheme.
Mayor Boris Johnson, said: “It’s fantastic that our Santander Cycles will be able to bring light to the dark side of the street with these nifty Laserlights.
“We’re always looking to develop new and innovative ways to help people cycle around the Capital more safely and these green lights will help all our cycle hire users to stay seen at night.
“I’m delighted that through this great partnership, we’re able to help improve safety and support the enterprise of another brilliant London start-up.”
Keith Moor, Chief Marketing Officer, Santander UK, said: “When we became the partner of TfL on Santander Cycles we made a commitment to make the scheme fun, rewarding and easy; and to help increase the usage of the cycles, with the wider benefits this can bring to London.
“We know safety is a big barrier for people and this demonstrates the commitment on our part to help more people feel confident in accessing the scheme.
“But it is also shows our ongoing commitment to higher education, to entrepreneurs and to small businesses. For Blaze, this breakthrough business is on the cusp of something very exciting and we‘re thrilled to be a part of that.”