AN inventor from Rossendale has proved he is ahead of the pack by designing a new piece of safety kit for cyclists.

A number of top firms are bidding for the rights to sell Lee Cunningham’s new creation – which was inspired by his wife’s pony tail.

Mr Cunningham, of Carr Farm Close, Rawtenstall, has quit his job in the benefits office at Bury Council to concentrate full-time on the product, which is called MovoBright.

The 360-degree reflective cylinder is designed to attract drivers’ attention to cyclists from all angles.

Mr Cunningham, 42, said witnessing two separate near-misses involving cyclists on his way to work one morning shocked him into action.

He said: “I was driving into Bury and within minutes I had seen two cyclists who were inches from being hit, one by a truck.

“They were both fully kitted out in high-visibility gear but still the drivers couldn’t see them.

The product is already being used by Bury Council in its primary school cycling schemes, and a batch of 250 sold out at the Cycle Show exhibition at Birmingham’s NEC in September. Last month, 200 youngsters in Accrington were given the devices to keep them safe on their way to and from school.

Mr Cunningham said he had also had interest from two national chain stores and was in talks with a distributor.

Although not a cyclist himself, Mr Cunningham went about creating prototypes of his product after going for a run with his wife.

He said: “I was looking at her hair and thinking it would be great if it was hi-vis, so I went about mimicing her ponytail.

“I went on a sewing course and ordered shoelaces from China. I’ve made a few refinements since then. It can be clipped to the saddle rails, rucksacks or clothes.”

The luminous device can be seen from up to 1,000 feet, is waterproof, lightweight and doesn’t require batteries.

For more information, visit the MovoBright site on Facebook.