Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

PLANS FOR COUNCILS TO GIVE PEDESTRIANS PRIORITY AT TRAFFIC LIGHTS

  • Comment
A new plan to promote walking will allow local councils to rephase thousands of traffic lights, pedestrian crossing...
A new plan to promote walking will allow local councils to rephase thousands of traffic lights, pedestrian crossings and other junctions to give priority to people on foot, according to The Sunday Times (p10).

It is a radical reworking of road engineering, which for more than 40 years have given priority to a smooth flow of cars. Under the new scheme, to be set out in the National Walking Strategy due for publication this winter, pedestrians will have priority in urban areas. Cyclists will have second priority, public transport will be third and motor vehicles last.

How the strategy will be implemented will be left to local authorities, but Department for Transport documents make the government's preferences clear. Measures likely to have the greatest impact include cutting the time taken for lights to turn red against cars at pedestrian crossings and junctions where pedestrian green lights are activated by push buttons.

Rod Tolley, director of the Centre for Alternative and Sustainable Transport at Staffordshire University, who advised the government on walking strategies, said: 'Streets should not be just for transport. They are for shopping, doing business and living in'.

Some authorities have tested such measures already. Nottingham City Council is among the most radical, and some of its schemes cited in the forthcoming strategy include a policy of filling in pedestrian subways and creating surface-level road crossings with traffic lights that stop cars within seconds of a pedestrian approaching.

Dorset CC engineers have been reducing the response time when someone presses the button at a crossing and turning the lights red for longer to give people more time to cross. A spokesman described early trials as 'a great success'.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.