Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum by City of Westminster (WTC 106)

STAGGERED PELICAN CROSSINGS—ABINGDON STREET AND MILLBANK

  Thank you for your letter dated 21 February 2001.

  The pelican crossings outside the House of Lords and adjacent to No. 1 Millbank have been installed for some time now and were provided as part of the City Council's accident remedial programme which targets the reduction of road casualties in line with Central Government initiatives.

  The crossing outside the House of Lords was a new facility whereas the crossing on Millbank replaced an existing zebra crossing. The provision of staggered crossings at both locations meets criteria set down by the then Department of Transport in its Technical Advice Note TA 52/87. The provision of the stagger being required on carriageways exceeding 12 metres in width.

  The crossings were provided to reduce the number of pedestrian casualties and were engineered such that traffic capacity reductions were minimised to levels acceptable to the then Traffic Director for London. Cost benefits analysed are calculated on the basis of predicted accident saving costs and scheme construction costs rather than values assigned to the time that pedestrians and motorists have to wait before being given their respective green signal. Predicted accident costs are provided by the DETR in their Highways Economic Road Notes.

  Regrettably pedestrians often misuse the crossing facilities provided for them and choose to risk the crossing of some of London's busiest roads away from the improved safety that many crossings provide and until such time as there is legislation against this practice the problem will persist. The design layout of crossings and safety audit thereof encourages pedestrians to divert to the actual crossing point itself.

  The performance of both crossings is monitored via a diary system established by the London Accident Analysis Unit (now part of TfL) and our findings are that the crossings have reduced the toll of accidents that existed at the time of initial analysis.

  The Council has introduced staggered crossings elsewhere in the City and where appropriate continue to so do although there are some initiatives under discussion to look at ways of making such facilities more user friendly in accordance with pedestrian desire lines.

  I hope this is of some help in general terms, if however you require statistical detail I will have to arrange to retrieve detail from the Council archived files.

Carl Powell, Director

Planning and Transportation


 
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