Crash cyclist hits on safety tracker plan

Ian Asquith, Managing Director of Youtrack in Mapplewell.
Ian Asquith, Managing Director of Youtrack in Mapplewell.
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If real time tracking sounds a bit ‘Big Brother’ - what if a loved one crashed their bike and was left unconscious in the road?

That’s exactly what happened to Ian Asquith who smashed his eye socket, cheek and wrist and was knocked out cold for 15 minutes when his bike skidded on a country road.

But although nasty, his accident had one benefit - it led to a brilliant business idea.

Ian, boss of Barnsley vehicle tracking firm YouTrack, said: “I was unconscious for about 15 minutes after the bike skidded on a country road and I was lucky because someone found me, but just imagine if they hadn’t?

“It made me think we could take a product we already had and develop it. It might be a teenager going out with their mates or a partner going horse-riding or hiking, whatever the situation it will lead to peace of mind.”

Now his company, which is based at Mapplewell near Barnsley, has launched a personal version of the tracking device called YouTrack Solo.

The device, which uses GPS and mobile phone technology, can be tracked in real time on a map on a website which shows where you are - and keeps recordings of where you’ve been.

It cannot run out of credit and sends a warning message when the battery is low. It also has an SOS button and a ‘call me’ message function.

Ian, who is a member of Holmfirth Cycling Club, said he was also looking at whether it would be possible to design a version to attach to a bicycle.

“The possibilities are almost endless. It could be anyone from a parent worried about where their children are, to an employer concerned about a delivery driver.

“I even use it to let me know when my partner is heading home and I need to get the tea on.”

He is also plans to target the lone worker market. Nearly seven million people spend all or part of their working day alone, it is claimed, including security staff, social workers, delivery drivers, district nurses, postal workers, construction and farm workers.

“It is amazing how many employers seem to think out of sight is out of mind. Giving staff a simple device that they can put in their pocket can make all the difference,” said Ian.

“But not only are our tracking systems about safety, they can also save money.

“You can pinpoint the nearest member of staff to send or use the location evidence in a dispute.”

Ian had free help from support organisation Enterprising Barnsley.