Refuse and recycling vehicles in Havering are to be fitted with a new cyclist warning system, to help prevent fatalities on the road involving cyclists and large vehicles.
From autumn 2014, all waste vehicles in the London borough of Havering which are operated by contractor Serco, as part of its £40million collection contract signed with the council earlier this year, will be fitted with Cyclear technology.
Serco is due to roll out a new fleet to manage household waste and recycling services in Havering from August 1.
Launched by Innovative Safety Systems (ISS), Cyclear comprises an illuminated sign and speaker to alert cyclists and vulnerable road users when a heavy or large goods vehicle (LGV) is turning left.
The technology also includes an optional sequencing sensor which alerts the driver when a cyclist or pedestrian is approaching. It automatically downloads recorded camera footage from the vehicles by wifi as soon as it returns to the depot.
In addition, the system sends an automatic daily health report for each camera and recording device, alerting the operator of any faults with the sensor immediately.
The technology has undergone three years of “robust” testing and was originally piloted by Serco on its services contract in Wandsworth. Since then, the system has also been used by Guildford borough council and the London borough of Sutton.
“When we first trialled the system in Wandsworth, the feedback from our drivers was unequivocal; they noticed a considerable change in the behaviour of cyclists who were much more cautious in approaching the vehicle when it was signalling to turn left,” said Philip Quelch, national fleet and plant manager for Serco Direct Services.
Gavin Thoday, director of ISS, added: “The number of cyclists on the roads has risen significantly during the past few years and as a result so has the number of cycling casualties. Startling statistics from RoSPA prompted the team at ISS to develop Cyclear, of which we are all immensely proud”.
“A successful launch earlier this year has seen great interest from both the UK and internationally and we are hoping our product will soon be helping cyclists all over the world.”
Thoday confirmed official sales of Cyclear would begin this month, with ISS looking for partners and resellers to expand the brand.
Roll out of the new system in Havering comes in the wake of a spate of road traffic collisions between LGVs and cyclists in London during recent months, with a number of fatalities reported.
In response to accidents involving vehicles and cyclists in London, mayor of London Boris Johnson has proposed that any vehicle weighing more than 3.5 tonnes, which is not fitted with cyclist safety equipment, should be banned from the capital from as early as September this year.