Supplementary memorandum by the Department
of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (WTC 40B)
INQUIRY INTO WALKING IN TOWNS AND CITIES
1. The Committee asked:
whether the guidance to local authorities
in Local Transport Notes 1/95 and 2/95 is still correct;
whether any revisions are anticipated
in the near future; and
for information about the comparative
costs of providing a staggered rather than a straight pedestrian
2. There is a difference in law between
straight and staggered signal-controlled pedestrian crossings.
A straight crossing, even with a central refuge, is legally a
single crossing. A staggered crossing is two separate crossings.
3. The guidance in Local Transport Notes
1/95 and 2/95 is still correct, but is being supplemented to take
account of the development of "Puffin" (Pedestrian
User Friendly INtelligent) light-controlled crossings.
4. The Department recommends, and will continue
to recommend, that local traffic authorities should consider providing
a refuge if the width of the road makes it potentially intimidating
to cross without some form of protection.
5. A straight crossing with a refuge can
create problems in the case of the familiar pelican signal controlled
crossing. The sequence of lights include flashing amber, when
vehicles may move forward provided that there is no-one on the
crossing. The problem arises when someone is on the crossing,
but is still on the refuge or approaching it from the far side.
They have the right of way, but drivers may not realise this and
will sometimes proceed across the crossing on the basis that their
part of it is clear. This is potentially dangerous, and the Department
does not recommend this type of crossing.
6. With Pelican crossings the confusion
can be avoided by having a staggered crossing.
7. With the Puffin crossings, which are
now being introduced, there is no flashing amber signal. There
is a "green man" phase for pedestrians, after which
the traffic lights remain at red while the pedestrians complete
their crossings, their presence being detected by sensors. It
should therefore be possible to install straight crossings with
refuges but without the safety problem described above, and the
Department will encourage local traffic authorities to consider
8. There are many signal-controlled pedestrian
crossings at junctions which do not include a flashing amber sequence,
because the traffic is being held back for other motor traffic
as well as for pedestrians. In such cases, the local traffic authority
may want to separate the two halves of a crossing for traffic
management reasons, and such a decision will not be affected by
the availability of Puffin crossings.
9. Costs. The cost of a single Pelican crossing
varies greatly between sites but is typically around £15,000.
The addition of a refuge will increase this cost, and a staggered
crossing may cost up to twice this amount.