Pedestrian crossings

We receive many requests each year for new pedestrian crossings, which are very expensive road safety features to install.

All requests for pedestrian crossings should be made through your parish or town council. This encourages local debate and ensures there is a democratic process in place from the start.

If your local parish or town council supports the proposal they should contact us with their request providing as much information as possible about the location, any local issues to be addressed and any other useful information that will assist with the assessment of the site.

We will make our initial decision based on several criteria including (but not limited) to:

  • local traffic volumes
  • pedestrian or other user volume
  • vehicle speeds
  • demand for a crossing facility
  • location on a route to school
  • proximity of cycle routes
  • speed limit in existence on the road
  • road hierarchy (major routes would be limited to signal-controlled crossings only)
  • accident history of the site and surrounding area
  • potential to be incorporated into a traffic calming scheme

Once the initial assessment has been completed we will inform the parish or town council of the outcome.

If approved the scheme will be designed and a feasibility study carried out. This will determine the type of crossing required and the most appropriate location. Budget allocations are renewed every April and if the scheme receives a high priority and is affordable, it will be put forward for inclusion in the works programme.

​Zebra crossing

Zebra crossings have black and white stripes across the road with orange flashing beacons at each end.

A zebra crossing gives the pedestrian the right of way over traffic 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.

Pelican crossing (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. Pedestrians should not start to cross if the green man is flashing.

There may be a bleeper to assist blind or partially sighted people to know when it is safe to cross. Alternatively, there may be a rotating knob underneath the WAIT box, which turns when the green man lights up.

Puffin crossing (Pedestrian user friendly intelligent crossing)

Puffin crossings look very similar to Pelicans and are an updated version of a 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.

Puffin crossings have special sensors built in which can detect a pedestrian waiting and makes sure that traffic remains stopped until all the pedestrians have crossed.

Puffins do not have a flashing green man for pedestrians or a flashing amber light for drivers.

Toucan crossing (Two-can cross)

Toucan crossings are designed for pedestrians and cyclists to cross, 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 crossing there is a red and green cycle signal as well as the 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/cyclists using the crossing.

There is no flashing green man/cycle signal and drivers must wait for a green light.

Pegasus crossing

Pegasus crossings are designed for horse riders, as well as pedestrians and cyclists to cross, usually at sites where bridleways and/or cycle routes meet busy roads.

On a Pegasus crossing there is a red and green horse with rider signal above the push button on the WAIT box. The crossing is usually wider than a Puffin or Toucan, and the push button units are set further back from the road and mounted higher up to assist horse riders.

Pedestrian refuges

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.

Dropped kerbs

Dropped (or lowered) kerbs are installed at suitable crossing points at the same level as the road, so that wheelchair users and pedestrians with pushchairs are able to cross the road more easily.

Tactile paving may be installed at dropped kerb crossing points, with small dimples on the surface. This is to inform visually impaired pedestrians of the presence of a pedestrian crossing.

Last updated 10 March 2022