New cycling technology in Chichester put to the test

Technology to make Northgate gyratory safer

New cycling technology which has been installed on the Northgate gyratory in Chichester to make it safer for cyclists and drivers has been put to the test.

West Sussex County Council Leader, Louise Goldsmith, and Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, John O’Brien, have cycled the circuit of road to see for themselves how the state-of-the-art sensors and flashing signs work.

They took part in a training session with experienced instructors, who were on hand to show cyclists around the new system.

The warning technology, which is being described as a ‘Mexican wave’ has been introduced to make motorists aware of the presence of cyclists in the cycle lane.

The sensors trigger the flashing signs as soon as a cyclist pedals onto Northgate. Then, as cyclists progress around the gyratory they trigger each sign in sequence to flash up, giving the effect of a ‘Mexican wave’.

Louise Goldsmith said: “The new system is an excellent way of making sure motorists know when a cyclist is approaching a junction. I found it really useful to see for myself how the technology works and I hope cyclists will find it improves their journey.”

John O’Brien said: “This is a really clever use of technology. The sensors are normally used to detect cars and trigger traffic signals. But we’ve specially adapted them at Northgate to detect bicycles in the cycle lane.

“I hope the improvements will encourage more people to get out of their car and onto their bike.”

The £210,000 project, which has also involved updating the cycle lane and painting it green, has been funded by the County Council (£70,000) and the Department of Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.