Traffic lights to stay red for longer

Kit to stop red light runners
9 May, 2014 12:13pm Joe Finnerty

Elderly pedestrians will be given more time to cross under Government review

Traffic lights will remain red for longer to allow elderly pedestrians more time to safely cross the road.

Crossings will undergo a huge Government review after it was revealed Britain's ageing population is struggling to make it to the other side of busy roads.

Lights could be fitted with sensors to keep them on red when people are still crossing, according to roads minister Robert Goodwill.

Traditional pelican crossings with a flashing green man are due to be phased out next year with countdown traffic lights becoming more common.

Britain second for road safety in Europe

The time allowed for pedestrians to cross hasn't changed since the 1950s yet many pensioners walk much slower than the 1.2 metres a second that dictates phasings. University College London research found those over 65 actually walk, on average, at 0.8m/s.

Mr Goodwill said: "The green man is an invitation to cross. When the green man is extinguished, there is still time to cross. The updated puffin crossings have movement detectors, which allow extra time to be given. We are looking at other types of crossing as well, which will further improve the situation."

Natascha Engel, North East Derbyshire MP, who tabled the question in the House of Commons, urged the review to be undertaken immediately.

Call for action on epidemic of road signs

Transport for London is also considering changes with a new system that detects how many people are waiting on the pavement being developed.

Paul Watters, head of roads policy at the AA, said keeping lights on red could cause more traffic for drivers.

“I would prefer to see more of the countdowns which are a quite good indicator of your chances of getting across,” he said. “ If you are stuck behind the first person in a queue at a red light and they move away slowly you can imagine the consequences for the junction. One second here is two to three cars less through the signal.”

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So an elderly person is walking slowly across a road and your lights turn green. What do you do? A) sit and wait patiently for the person to complete the crossing B) rev your engine to get them to walk quicker C) run them over. This may seem cynical, but surely it's just common courtesy to allow slower pedestrians more time to cross, whether they be elderly people, parents with young children or the less able. We don't need new traffic signals to accomplish this. How long before the local school children realise they can walk extra slowly to hold up traffic? I watched a group do exactly that on a zebra crossing in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

We need to speed up the ability for everyone to use the junctions, drivers and pedestrians. How many times have you waited at a crossing for what seems like an age, even though there are no pedestrians as they've already crossed quite a while ago. The junctions should sense footfall and people still walking and adjust accordingly

Countries such as Canada and Australia allow pedestrians to cross with the direction of traffic, the traffic has to give way if turning left or right. It seems a very sensible solution that would reduce waiting times.

While we're talking about traffic lights, why in the UK do we have so many traffic lights that can't be seen by the driver at the front of queue without them having to practice head yoga.

Le me continue my rant ...Why o why have our pedestrian crossing little green men moved from somewhere easy to see and used all over the world,to somewhere that isn't naturally visble on the post where you press the button. Often on crossroads, people have no idea which way the little green man indicates to cross and they're all far to low positioned too. Please council change our lights back to how they were.

Well, i will simply have to drive a lot faster, once the lights turn green, to make up for all the time. Simples.

Research has shown that the vicinity of junctions is the worst place to put any form of pedestrian crossing. We see this by the large number of vehicles colliding with pedestrians/cyclists around junctions. Why don't we just move all forms of pedestrian crossing far away from junctions, and then program the traffic lights with traffic / heat sensors, to detect where to give traffic priority, by means of longer green light.
do this all the way down a busy commuter route, and watch travel times shorten dramatically....
...but of course, in this country, no governing body wants to do anything to favour motorists - they want you all out of the car, and into government controlled public transport, so that they can control your movements, and keep an even closer eye on you.

Have you got this right?
Vehicle junction traffic lights are to stay on red longer or is it the red lights at Pedestrian crossings? However, this could include a red push button pedestrian phase at ordinary traffic lights.
I have no worries either way but please, with the radar controlled variety of pedestrian lights, do not have a 4 second period on vehicle red after the pedestrian has cleared the carriageway. It isn't needed.

Our local authority installed permanent traffic lights on a roundabout where there was a bit of queuing for 20 minutes at peak during the morning and afternoon rush. So, that's 40 minutes supposedly improved out of a 1440 minute day. The other 1400 minutes now have needless delays.

They are currently talking themselves up at having reduced queuing at this roundabout, totally ignoring the fact that the traffic has started rat-running through a housing estate to avoid the lights.

So thousands of pounds wasted, traffic problems worsened, CO2 emissions increased, thousands of drivers fuel money wasted. Brilliant.

Manchester's Regent Road has a great system at its crossroads - simply hold all four roads on red and put on the green man. Never mind the fact 99% of the time there are no pedestrians wanting to cross.

More congestion, more pollution (most cars still don't have stop start in UK). Put timers on the traffic lights to tell pedestrians and drivers how long till next green light.

In Aust,in Brisbane some pedestrian lights when flashing red have a timer for the pedestrians so they know that they better hurry up or get run over.We only stop all traffic at some intersections,and only in the city where there are lots of people all the time for diagonal crossing.Some intersections have a red left arrow to allow the pedestrians a chance to cross un challenged,then fade out when the red flashing man starts.

What a waste of time. If there is an OAP in the road, drivers don't suddenly mow them down simply because the light turns green!

Can we have some sense, drivers are not idiots.