Cyclists get green light sooner in Hengelo thanks to new trial

30 May 2022 - Published by CIE Communications

It is the frustration of many cyclists: waiting endlessly at a red light. In Hengelo, they have found a solution to this problem. On May 9th, the city started a “bicycle chain” pilot. Cyclists who form a 'chain' of three or more people will automatically receive a green light. Signage has been installed on cycling routes between Hengelo and Brone with the slogans “Stay together” (Blijf bij elkaar), and “Three or more are quicker to green” (Drie of meer is sneller door groen).

"If you approach at the same speed with several cyclists in a compact group, the traffic light will turn green immediately," says Gerard Gerrits, alderman for traffic in Hengelo. See video (in Dutch).

Improved traffic flow

This pilot has a twofold benefit, Gerrits says, “Cyclists get a green light more quickly, which we hope will stimulate bicycle use. But this test also ensures a better flow of traffic because if you can let cyclists pass in groups, the traffic light will turn green for those cyclists, but will be red less often for other road users.” 

The trial is therefore deliberately being conducted on the cycle path along Plein Westermaat, where traffic to and from the A1 meets through traffic between Hengelo and Borne. "This is the busiest point in Hengelo, where there is high demand for improved traffic flow for cyclists. We are very curious about how this trial will affect the flow of car traffic", says the Hengelo alderman.

A unique project

The trial is being funded by the province of Overijssel. "This is quite a unique project," says Gerrits. "I’m not aware of such a project anywhere else in the Netherlands, and I've never heard of it anywhere in Europe either. So what we are doing here is very special."

The original article was published in Dutch by RTV Oost.