Croydon Council has launched a six-month trial of Cycle Alert technology on three of its own HGVs as part of its wider drive to promote safe urban cycling on its streets.

Cycle Alert is an RFID sensory system to detect cyclists in vehicles' blindspots. It comprises a wireless low-power sensor on the vehicle, a cab-mounted device to alert the driver of a cyclist’s presence and a tag fitted to bicycles.

Carole Crankshaw, regeneration development and environment department senior transport planner and biking borough programme manager of Croydon Council, said, “As the number of cyclists in Croydon increases, we must ensure that we are doing everything we can to help keep them safe, to educate and to provide the necessary tools for safe urban cycling.

"By piloting Cycle Alert in addition to all the other vehicle safety measures we have put in place under the Fors scheme, we are pioneering a safer Croydon for cyclists.”

Reliance of tags to be fitted to bicycles has come under fire previously from cycling lobby groups, citing safety issues for those cyclists not using tags, however Croydon Council said it will be encouraging take-up by providing several hundred free tags at local bike shops in the borough.

“We’ll review this trial after the six months are up, and then decide if we’ll take it further,” a spokesman said.

Peter Le Masurier, Cycle Alert founder, added: “It comes up time and time again, the issue of road user ‘tribes’ and a lack of accountability. Cycle Alert aims to help tackle those dogmas and opens the door to mutual respect on our roads.”