'Glow in the dark' bike paths, already being trialled in Cambridge, could be coming to a city near you

UV-powered luminous ‘Starpath’ to light up future cycle paths?

A UK-based company has come up with what it claims is a revolutionary way to light bike paths. Pitched as an alternative to street lighting, Starpath absorbs and stores energy from UV rays during the day and then releases the energy at night, allowing particles to glow.

Created by Pro-Teq, Starpath is anti-slip and pitched as more cost-effective (and environmentally sound) than standard resurfacing.

Starpath is now being trialled in the east side of the centre of Cambridge by the City Council.

Owner of Pro-Teq Surfacing Hamish Scott: “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. It is exceptional. 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.”

According to the firm, Starpath has anti-slip properties. It can also help to reduce the risk of collisions between cyclists and pedestrians at night without having to resort to artificial painted centre lines.

BEFORE: Christs Piece footway, Cambridge (the footway is for pedestrians only)

AFTER: Christs Piece footway, Cambridge

The wonderful world of Twitter has illuminated the fact that there are variations on this theme available. NighTec (from Aggregate Industries) are photo luminous block paving, also charged by the sun or daylight (UV) and emit light for up to ten hours. However, these are not – as far as we know – being trialled in a potential cycle path context and the practicalities of paving a whole cycle path seem prohibitive, to our admittedly untrained minds at least. It seems ‘glow in the dark’ paving/paths are very much a reality, however, with some interesting potential for the cycle world.

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