Skip to the content

York to catch cyclists' heat signatures



Council plans to install thermal imaging at traffic lights to give cyclists more time on green lights

City of York Council is planning to use thermal imaging to manage traffic signals for the approach of cyclists.

It is set to install the technology at the first junction in May, following its introduction by Transport for London last year.

Thermal image cameras operate in longer wavelengths than regular cameras, picking up infrared radiation rather than visible light. This enables them to detect the 'heat signature' of an object or person.

The technology can recognise an approaching cyclist and adjust the phasing of traffic lights to give them more green time.

York is planning to roll out the technology at junctions that are used heavily by cyclists across the city, as part of a five-year signal replacement.

Time and money saver

Councillor Ian Gillies, executive member of transport and planning, said: “Investing now will help to bring our systems into the 21st century, saving vital time spent otherwise on repairs and maintenance and more importantly saving money from the public purse.

“By investing in this cutting edge equipment, it will help to keep York’s roads moving, improving journey reliability and the overall driving and commuter experience in York for future years.” =

York's scheme also includes a £70,000 investment for three years to replace worn out and unreliable road loops with camera systems for traffic detection.

The costs for the whole scheme are around £2.6 million over six years. Of this, £320,000 for detector equipment was allocated in the capital programme for 2015-16 through the existing Local Transport Plan budget over the next five years.

Image: Tejvan Pettinger through Flickr, C&MA


Register For Alerts

Keep informed - Get the latest news about the use of technology, digital & data for the public good in your inbox from UKAuthority.