Smart Cycle Lanes Pitched to UK

Glow in the dark road markings have been installed in the Netherlands after being proposed as one of several smart highway features that could be put to wide use.

The road markings are designed to be clearer than existing cat's eye reflective spheres and are created by a special paint charged by daylight.

One of the road marking designers Daan Roosegaarde said: "The glowing lines are a little ... Daft Punk look-alike but they are to do with safety.

"The three lines merge into one and you feel that it guides you. With fog, you see them more than with standard light."

He has worked on the project - and many others - with Hans Goris, a civil engineer at infrastructure firm Heijmans.

"There is much less energy used," said Mr Roosegaarde of the photo-luminescent paint he uses.

"There will be big projects, we have requests from China and India - these are places where you need safe roads that are disconnected from the energy grid."

The first cycle highway, named the Van Gogh-Roosegaarde Light Emitting Bicycle Path, will be launched in December in Neunen, which was home to the Dutch post-impressionist artist.

According to Mr Roosegaarde, he had proposed the design to the Birmingham and London earlier this month. Both cities were due to watch follow-up tests in the coming months with a view to introducing the innovation to the UK.

An automotive expert at Aston Business School in Birmingham is keen on the idea.

He said: "The Netherlands is much better organised than the UK, they have a much better laid-out network of highways.

"It is a good idea to try it, though.

"There is a possibility of reducing electricity use as well."

Mr Roosegaarde believes that Britain's tradition of blending craftsmanship and function made it a perfect place to install his cycle highway.

"For a small country like the Netherlands, we have to be creative - that is how we will survive. I won't say what the UK should and shouldn't do but I can see similarities. You cherish your heritage but you want to make it contemporary too.

"There is a great connection between the art and the technical in Britain - the Spitfire is a good example."

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