Cans of specialist, glow-in-the-dark spray paint, which can be applied to bikes, helmets, clothing and other cycling equipment, are being given out in London bike shops in an attempt to drive down the number of cycling accidents in the capital.

Swedish car manufacturer Volvo has developed LifePaint, a spray paint which is invisible during the day but glows brightly under the glare of headlights in the dark. The spray can be applied to any material without affecting its colour or texture and lasts for around a week, or can be washed off sooner.

Volvo has initially given 2,000 cans of LifePaint to six bike shops in London and Kent where cyclists can pick it up for free.

Volvo hopes that, if the free trial is successful, it will distribute cans on a national scale to try and reduce the number of cycling accidents on UK roads. Latest statistics indicate that around 19,000 cyclists are injured on UK roads each year.

Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Cyclists are among the most vulnerable road users and have little protection if they are involved in a road traffic accident.

“If LifePaint proves to be a relatively cost effective way of improving cycling safety it is welcome, but, typically, this is yet another measure cyclists are having to undertake themselves and no leadership is being shown by the coalition government. What is needed is not reliance on the good will of manufacturers and the free market but a coordinated commitment to bettering road infrastructure and investing in cycling safety measures.

“Thompsons Solicitors has supported thousands of cyclists who have been injured on the UK’s roads and has seen first-hand the consequences accidents can have on victims and their families.

“It is not enough for the Tories and Lib Dems to trumpet that they have invested more in cycling when it still falls well below the £10 per capita target and there has been a complete abrogation of responsibility to make sure that the spend is targeted and effective.“