Know Your Pedestrian Crossings
To increase pedestrian safety and encourage more people to walk, many pedestrian crossings have been installed across the Borough. A number of different types of pedestrian crossings are detailed below.
Puffin Crossings (Pedestrian User Friendly Intelligent Crossing)
Puffin crossings look very similar to Pelicans and are an updated version of the Pelican Crossing. One of the main differences is that the red and green man signals are just above the WAIT box and not on the other side of the road. Pedestrians should press the button on the box.
Puffin crossings have special sensors built in which can detect a pedestrian waiting and make sure that traffic remains stopped until all the pedestrians have crossed the road. Puffins do not have a flashing green man for pedestrians or a flashing amber for drivers.
Pelican (Pedestrian Light Controlled Crossing)
Pelican crossings are controlled by the pedestrian pressing the button on the WAIT box. Pedestrians should only cross when the green man lights up and all the traffic has stopped. Sometimes there is a bleeper to help blind or partially sighted people know when it is safe to cross.
Alternatively there may be a rotating cone underneath the WAIT box, which turns when the green man lights up. Pedestrians should not start to cross if the green man is flashing. We no longer install Pelicans as the newer Puffin crossings provide a better facility for pedestrians.
This crossing has black and white stripes (like a zebra) with orange flashing beacons at each end. A Zebra crossing gives the pedestrian right of way once their foot is on the crossing, however pedestrians must make sure that all the traffic has stopped before crossing and they should keep looking and listening as they cross.
Many people ask for Zebra crossings to be changed to Puffin crossings, believing them to be safer. Recent research has shown that the safety record of both types is very similar and that, in some cases, Zebras are safer.
Toucan Crossings (Two-Can Cross)
These crossings are provided for pedestrians and cyclists, usually at sites where cycle routes cross busy roads. They are similar to a Puffin with the crossing operated by a push button on the WAIT box. On a Toucan there is a green and red cycle signal as well as the more familiar red and green man.
The main advantage for cyclists is that they do not have to dismount to cross. Toucans also have sensors to detect pedestrians using the crossing. There is no flashing green man signal and drivers must wait for a green light.
In some locations, where a pedestrian crossing cannot be justified, a pedestrian refuge (traffic island) may be placed. These narrow the road and allow pedestrians to cross in two halves with a safe place to wait in the middle.
Pedestrians should cross with care as drivers have priority at traffic islands.