Pedestrian crossings

Crossing the road can be difficult at the best of times, but particularly so if you are younger, older or disabled.

Informal crossings include pedestrian refuges, kerb build-outs, dropped kerbs and raised road surfaces, but pedestrians have to wait for a gap in traffic before they can cross. BWA is already campaigning for continuous footways at side junctions.

Formal crossings allow pedestrians to be given priority over traffic, even if for a limited time.

Formal crossings fall into three main categories:

  • Uncontrolled
    • Zebra crossings – pedestrians have right of way at all times.
  • Standalone lights-controlled
    • Pelican crossings – red and green man shows on opposite side of the road, with a flashing green to indicate you should not start to cross. These are gradually being replaced by…
    • Puffin crossings – red and green man shows on this side of the road near the request button.
    • Toucan crossings – like Puffin crossings, but also for cyclists.
  • Junction lights-controlled
    • Crossings at road junctions – linked in with the direction and timing of traffic flow at the junction.

There is understandably some confusion over the way different kinds of lights-controlled crossings operate.

BWA campaigns for:

  • Sufficient pedestrian crossing points to be provided on all our roads. The kind of crossing and the way it is configured should be determined by the needs of those least able to cross the road.
  • All Pelican crossings to be upgraded to Puffin crossings. Puffin crossings are safer because they can detect the presence of people on the crossing and can adjust the timing of the lights accordingly.
  • Lights-controlled crossings to be more favourable to pedestrians. Pedestrians should not have to wait an excessively long time before crossing and should be given sufficient time to cross.

We have been in discussion with Bristol City Council who have been reviewing the settings of the system-controlled signalised crossings across Bristol.