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Glow-in-the-dark bike path on trial in England

Jim Fischer's picture
StarPath by Pro-Teq Surfacing may one day light up bike paths around the world. Cycle Traveller

Cyclists riding through dark streets and parks may one day find themselves pedalling on light, with the world's first glow-in-the-dark pathway being tested in Cambridge, England.

Dubbed 'StarPath', the environmentally friendly UV-powered surface is said to “radically enhance visibility at night”.

It may be used as an alternative to street lighting and could help local councils around the world, particularly cash strapped ones, illuminate dark areas while also saving on energy costs and reducing carbon emissions, said Hamish Scott of Pro-Teq Surfacing, which developed the technology.

“There is nothing like StarPath in the world, this product adjusts to the natural light, so if it is pitch black outside the luminous natural earth enhances, and if the sky is lighter, it won’t release as much luminosity – it adjusts accordingly, its almost like it has a mind of its own,” he said. “We use natural earth products and it cannot be replicated by any other source; you need to physically see it to believe it, this is pure nature doing its work.”

Cambridge City Council is trialling the technology on a 150 square metre path in Christ's Pieces park, resurfacing the pathway with the spray-on liquid-based product that can be used on most surfaces, including concrete, tarmac, timber or anything with a solid base. The application took 30 minutes and the path was ready to use less than four hours later.

Pro-Teq Surfacing said the material absorbs and stores energy from the sun's UV rays during the day, then releases the energy at night, causing the particles to glow.

Mr Scott said the surface was sustainable and perfect for cyclist and disabled access, with a high safety margin due to its anti-slip and weatherproof properties.

“We are so pleased Cambridge City Council has agreed to trial the product,” Mr Scott said. “We continue to refine and adapt the product to ensure it meets the on-going needs of our customers and the environment.”

Image: A pathway in Christ's Pieces park, Cambridge, England, resurfaced with StarPath.

Comments

GlobePedaller's picture

What an exciting development. My only question is: 'how well does the product absorb light in poorly exposed areas and on short, dark winter days?'.

We could also see cycle paths illuminated by nearby plants themselves at some point in the future - refer to this initiative: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/antonyevans/glowing-plants-natural-lighting-with-no-electricit.

GlobePedaller

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