Cllr Bassam Mahfouz cycling next to lorry fitted with sensors

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz cycling next to lorry fitted with sensors

A safety sensor fitted to a London council lorry to alert the driver to cyclists and pedestrians has prevented 15 potentially fatal collisions in six months.

Ealing council today announced the results of the first London borough trial of the Cycle Safety Shield device, which a contractor has been using on a 26-tonne vehicle.

It is able to detect only pedestrians, cyclists and motorbikes – meaning the lorry driver does not receive repeated false alerts triggered by railings, signposts and other vehicles.

During the trial, which ran from January to June, the system detected more than 40,000 cyclists, pedestrians and motorbikes but an alarm only alerted the driver on 15 occasions, when they were close enough to be in danger.

The majority of alerts happened when a cyclist was detected on the left-side of the lorry as it turned left or drove straight ahead. The alarm enabled the driver to brake and avoid a collision. The presence of the system also meant the lorry used £500 less fuel due to smoother braking and accelerating.

As a result, the City of London Corporation is to trial the system on its refuse lorries. Transport for London is already testing it on a route 25 and a route 73 bus.

Ealing decided to pilot the scheme after six London cyclists were killed in a fortnight last November.

Bassam Mahfouz, Ealing’s cabinet member for transport, said: “We are committed to reducing lorry danger because we know they are involved in approximately two-thirds of cyclist deaths in London.

“We are in discussions with TfL and if their own independent results support these so far, we are keen to look at further roll out of this system across our fleet.”

Luke Brown, a driver for Murrill Construction, who took part in the TfL-funded trial, said: “The system has been a real benefit. I’ve used another system in the past that beeped at inanimate objects, such as cones, barriers and parked cars, so it was constantly making noise.”