With the number of cyclists taking to the roads of the UK increasing year on year, this growth has been assisted by government encouragement of cycling and the construction of road improvements and installations of specific bicycle detection on key routes to enable safer and more efficient cycling.

The M100 Bicycle Radar detection system from Clearview Traffic Group is a simple, wireless, easy to install in-road solution for detecting the presence of bicycles at traffic signals. The M100BR has been designed to uniquely detect the presence of a bicycle within a defined zone and differentiate it from other forms of traffic. Using the same underlying wireless communications infrastructure and protocols as the popular M100 wireless vehicle detection system, the M100BR can be easily retro-fitted at junctions where the M100 system is already deployed.

A prime example of where this application has been of great benefit is at the busy and hazardous junction on Whitelegg Way – A347 in Bournemouth, Dorset notorious for being an extremely congested and busy junction with traffic signals at the intersection with Wimbourne Road. This route way experiences high traffic flows throughout the day and had been a particularly difficult and dangerous junction for cyclists to access, as it joins a major route into the centre of Bournemouth.

Previously cyclists have been discouraged from using the junction due to the 2 minute time-lag for the traffic signals to change, unless following a bus which would automatically trigger a traffic signal change giving priority access. Cyclists would often cut the corner to avoid having to wait the 2 minute duration prior to the traffic signal change, ultimately putting themselves and other road users at risk.

Having received numerous complaints and requests on how the junction could be improved, Bournemouth Borough Council conducted their own research and made a decision to implement traffic improvements on Whitelegg Way. A designated cycle lane was installed along with an advanced stop line and the M100BR bicycle detection system working in conjunction with the traffic signals, ultimately giving cyclist priority at the junction. The installation of the M100BR bicycle detection system has enabled cyclist detection as they approach the junction which controls the traffic signal. Once cyclists are detected in the designated area this generates a demand call at the traffic signal control system, providing priority to join the main road.

Nick Lanigan, Managing Director of Clearview Traffic Group said “The installation works were completed in July 2013 and use of the M100BR system on Whitelegg Way since this time has been a great success. Well received by local cyclists and other regular users of the route, the feedback has been extremely positive with cyclists in particular feeling much safer now that they are visible to the traffic signals and get their turn accessing the junction.”

Based on the success of the Whitelegg Way site, Bournemouth Borough Council are now looking at other potential locations in the area where this system could also be of great benefit to cyclists and motorists alike, making Bournemouth a much safer and more accessible city for cyclists.