Transport for London, Santander and Blaze team up to make cycling on Boris bikes in London safer

Madeline Ratcliffe
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The lights project the image of a bike on to the road ahead (Source: TfL)

Transport for London (TfL) has introduced a new cycle safety scheme: Blaze Laserlights will be fitted to all Boris bikes, to make them more visible at night and reduce the number of accidents with cyclists in London.

After a successful trial in September, all 11,500 Santander Cycles will be fitted with the Blaze lights, starting from early 2016. Cycle sponsor Santander will foot 90 per cent of the bill.

Blaze lights project a laser image of a bike onto the road in front of the bike to alert pedestrians and drivers to the oncoming cyclist. The feature is designed to avoid collisions at night, or when a rider is caught in a driver's blind spot.

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.

During the trial period in September, 250 bikes had the laser lights fitted. Around three-quarters of the bikes' users said that it made them feel more confident. Almost half also said they would be more likely to use the bikes at night with the laser light fitted.

Keith Moor, chief marketing officer at Santander UK, said:

When we became the partner of TfL on Santander Cycles we made a commitment to help increase the usage of the cycles. 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.

This follows a number of fatal collisions on London's roads. Eight cyclists have been killed so far this year.

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