CYCLIST-friendly council bin lorries are being brought onto Scotland's roads for the first time.

Midlothian Council said it is the first local authority in Scotland to install a system on four of its refuse collection vehicles which it says is revolutionary and could be a major step forward in improving cyclist safety. An illuminated disc is positioned on the back of the vehicle which lights up with an image of a bike with a "strike" through it when the vehicle driver indicates left.

If a cyclist tries to undertake the vehicle on the near side, a sensor on the vehicle picks up the movement and alerts the driver.

Derek Rosie, the council's cabinet member for roads and recycling, said: "We are encouraging as many people as possible to cycle instead of taking the car for the health and environmental benefits.

"In fact, we've just launched a cycling survey which will inform our first ever Midlothian Cycling Strategy, so any new technology which helps make roads safer for cyclists is to be encouraged."

On average 12 cyclists are reported as injured on Midlothian roads every year.