A disposable paper helmet has been designed to improve cyclists’ safety for those using bike share schemes in cities.

The EcoHelmet, which has been created by designer Isis Shiffer, is made from paper, in a lattice shape, and can be folded up compactly, recycled after use and protects as well as a standard helmet.

The helmet’s structure resembles a honeycomb, meaning that if an individual had an accident when wearing it, the impact from a collision would be spread across the helmet and not just in one area.

Crash test facilities at Imperial College London were used to test and prove the strength of the design and it has also won the £30,000 International James Dyson Award. The helmet is being produced and sold after Ms Shiffer partnered with Los Angeles-based MemBrain.

It is anticipated that the helmets will be sold alongside schemes, such as Boris bikes in London and Citi Bikes in New York, for approximately £4.

David Robinson, a specialist serious injury solicitor and member of Thompsons Solicitors’ cycling group, said: “The number of cyclists taking to the roads in London is on the up. Cycling has become increasingly popular through schemes like Boris bikes, which is appealing to those visiting the city as a way to get about during their stay, or for those who are taking to a bike in a bid to avoid driving or using public transport.

“While there are obvious health and environmental benefits of increasing numbers of cyclists, it’s important to remember that cyclists are vulnerable road users and there should be effective measures in place to help keep people safe.

“Many people routinely wear a helmet when they get on a bike, but for those choosing to rent one through a scheme like Boris bikes it is quite shocking that adding a helmet isn’t an option. We’d therefore welcome an initiative like EcoHelmet, but from our perspective safety measures like this should be driven the government and not by cyclists themselves.”