A YORK taxi company has become the first cab firm in the world to use safety-boosting cyclist detection technology.

That is the claim of Cycle Alert, whose Radio-frequency identification (RFID) devices have been installed in Streamline Taxis' vehicles.

Cycle Alert kits enable Streamline's drivers to detect RFID-tagged cyclists and ensure they give then enough room on the road.

The partnership came about through the University of York, which promotes Streamline to students as its recommended taxi provider.

Streamline Taxis' business manager Bob Gilbert said: "With our link-up with the university, when Cycle Alert came up we had a meeting and they asked us if we would like to see how it was going.

"We thought let's go for it. Anything we can do to make York a safer place for everybody is worthwhile.

"A lot of students ride pedal cycles, so it links in well.

"To be the first taxi company in the world to do it, I think that's great news. We like to think we are leading the way."

Mr Gilbert added: “By ensuring our Streamline cabs have the latest cyclist detection technology we hope to make our drivers the safest in York, and make York the safest city in the Britain for its cyclists, many of whom are our customers.”

With York having the UK's second highest levels of cycling per population size - only Cambridge is higher - Cycle Alert saw the city as an ideal place to promote its technology.

Having already been used in HGVs and buses, Cycle Alert has received positive feedback on its latest venture from cyclists and drivers.

“Cycle Alert is an important road safety tool aimed at helping make roads safer,” said creator Peter Le Masurier.

“Technology has an incredibly positive contribution to make, to help cities function for all road users.

"Effective road safety saves lives, reduces the burden on over-stretched public services, such as health and social care.

"It also helps to tackle health inequalities and supports other public policies, such as helping and encouraging people to walk and cycle in a safe and attractive environment.”

A spokesman for The University of York said: “The safety of our staff and students is a priority for us. We are pleased that Streamline are taking these steps to help protect our cycling community.”