A STUDENT has designed an innovative bike light that could help cyclists be aware of danger hot spots.

University of Sussex student Jake Thompson, 24, has created a light with the novel feature of three buttons, which cyclists can use to highlight problems they encounter on their rides, including potholes, close pass points and dangerous junctions.

The reports can then be loaded up on to a map telling councils where they have the biggest issues and where they should be focusing investment and troubleshooting methods.

The product design student is now hoping for investors to help bring Flare, the first app-integrated smart bicycle light, to market by further developing the app, website and electronics.

Final year student Jake said: “If you compare the UK to somewhere like Copenhagen, then we are way behind when it comes to cycling infrastructure and participation.

“The Danes have a website which highlights the most frequented and the most frustrating areas for cyclists which helped inspire the Flare.

“The benefit of my design is cyclists can report where they feel the cycling infrastructure is inadequate in real time at the moment they experience it and it allows them to pinpoint the exact black spot.”

Flare can be attached to the handlebars of any bicycle.

Cyclists press one button to highlight issues with the road surface such as a pothole or obstruction like glass in the road; button two to highlight a stretch of road perceived to be dangerous particularly if cyclists felt passing cars were too close to them and button three to report dangerous or confusing junctions.

The light works by linking via Bluetooth to an app on a mobile phone with every button press plotting a GPS location on the Flare map of hot spots which will become a useful data gathering tool for local councils and fellow cyclists.

Becky Reynolds, of Brighton and Hove Cycling campaign group Bricycles, said: “Flare sounds like an excellent and economical way for cyclists to report problems and to gather cyclists’ real-time day-to-day experiences.

“A similar but more limited tool called Flic made by Swedish company Hovding was used in London but I understand that Jake’s creation is a step up from that because it captures more meaningful data.

“We are of course very concerned about potholes, hazardous road design and dangerous driving. It would be very helpful to see reports about issues represented on a map.

“This could be a real asset to cycle safety. I hope it will be used soon in Brighton.”