‘State-of-the-art’ bike sensors are hailed

Ed Clark, John O'Brien and Louise Goldsmith at the Northgate roundabout
Ed Clark, John O'Brien and Louise Goldsmith at the Northgate roundabout

COUNCIL leaders claim the road network in Chichester has been boosted by a ‘Mexican wave’ of new signs at the Northgate roundabout.

New cycling technology has been placed around the gyratory, which the county council said made it safer for cyclists and drivers.

The warning technology has been introduced to make motorists aware of the presence of cyclists in the cycle lane.

“The new system is an excellent way of making sure motorists know when a cyclist is approaching a junction,” said Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council, the authority responsible for the roundabout.

“I found it really useful to see for myself how the technology works and I hope cyclists will find it improves their journey.”

She was given the chance to cycle the route herself along with the newly-appointed cabinet member for highways and transport, John O’Brien.

He echoed the leader’s praise of the new warning system.

“This is a really clever use of technology,” he said.

“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 on to their bike.”

The project has cost £210,000 for the signs as well as ‘updating the cycle lane and painting it green’, according to the county council.

Out of this total cost, the council contributed £70,000 and the remainder came from the government’s department of transport.

The department has a local sustainable transport fund to support projects such as this.

The council described the sensors and flashing signs as ‘state-of-the-art’.

Cllr Goldsmith and Cllr O’Brien took part in a training session with experienced instructors who have been showing cyclists around the system.

The sensors trigger the flashing signs as soon as a cyclist pedals on to Northgate.

Then, as cyclists progress around the gyratory, they trigger each sign in sequence to flash up, giving the effect of a ‘Mexican wave’.