BUS drivers have swapped places with cyclists as part of a groundbreaking road safety trial at the University of York.

The city has been picked as the first place in the UK to test out Cycle Alert, a tracking system alerting drivers to nearby cyclists and is intended to be rolled out across the country.

The team behind the system has worked with the university, City of York Council and bus operator Transdev since the start of the year, with the technology fitted onto university buses and students encouraged to do the same on their bikes.

Bus drivers who usually ferry students around the city have this week attended the first of a series of training days to show how they can play their part in improving road safety.

At the end of the session, the drivers had the chance to swap four wheels for two and put what they learned into practice by seeing the road from a cyclist's perspective. The device comprises a tag fitted to the bike or cyclist, sensors installed on the vehicle and a cab-mounted device to warn the driver.

Cycle Alert's co-founder Peter Le Masurier said: "There have been too many tragedies involving cyclists and drivers, but it doesn't have to be this way.

"This event gives bus drivers the chance to experience the road from a very different vantage point. We are delighted with the progress of the trial so far and look forward to continuing this work to ensure the roads are safe for cyclists - York is an ideal city for cycling and we hope that, as a result of our systems, more people - including bus drivers - will be encouraged to hop on a bike."