Thursday, 1 July 2010

Pedestrian Crossings to be removed across London

Transport for London have targeted 145 sets of traffic lights and pedestrian crossings that could be removed across the capital.

The locations released to the London Assembly are described as an "initial list" of lights that are no longer considered "useful" by TfL.

Now, I'm all for removing traffic lights at junctions where they cause unnecessary congestion and there are plenty on the list that fall into that category.

But around half of the lights targeted are pedestrian crossings, and are often located by small parades of shops like this one in Avery Hill:

Who benefits from taking these down? How much congestion can an occasionally used traffic light create?

-Update- Via @BorisWatch comes this truly mad example outside Primary school gates in Kensington:

Whose bright idea was that one?

Labour Assembly member, Val Shawcross who obtained the list said today:

"The Mayor should be extremely cautious about taking out pedestrian crossings and reducing crossing times from London's roads. Pelican crossings are there for the safety and convenience of people on foot but they make up half of the lights proposed for removal. If anything we need more safe places to cross busy roads; not less. Pensioners, those with disabilities and parents of young children might not shout as loud as car drivers but they're ones who stand to lose out under these plans."

Boris Johnson has also announced plans to change crossing times and is trialing "countdown timers" across London.

However, pedestrian casualties have fallen dramatically in London in recent years and TfL need to be careful not to reverse that trend.

  • I have uploaded the full list of traffic lights under consideration for removal here.
  • BorisWatch are also compiling a GoogleMap here.
  • More local reaction from SE1 and 853


Chris said...

Can we remove the Boris Johnsons that are "no longer useful"? I can think of one near London Bridge.

AdamB said...

They're clogging up the whole city Chris.

Joe Robb said...

Coleman will be cock-a-hoop.

AdamB said...

I suspect this goes nowhere near far enough for Brian. He'd have the whole lot up.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Great spot, pedestrian fatalities and injuries will occur, timers on many of the lights are pretty short as it is, esp. for people with disabilities or the infirm and elderly.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps as part of this review Boris could also arrange for the red and green men to be put back at high level on the other side of the road and not just low down on this side of the road, they would then be alongside the timers! I am sure that somewhere on my travels I have come across the ticking crossing, slow tick for red man, moderate speed for the green increasing in tempo as the time runs out aand then back to slow ...

hilly said...

countdown timers are quite fun, i saw some in seville a couple of years ago: the green man was an animated walker, who gradually speeded up to a dash as the countdown approached zero, i was half expecting a dive at the end!

Anonymous said...

It would not surprise me in the slightest if Boris Johnson supplied Pole Vault's at each point that he removes lights or a crossing!

Anonymous said...

It has now been said this is only the first bite at removing traffic lights.

However, the focus in tory boroughs may be because of the change in payment system for traffic lights across London. In the past it was shared fairly equally but now it is charged according to the number present in the individual borough. This change to charging came in a couple of years ago.

Or is this an easy option way of reducing pollution because cars moving smoothly give off marginally less pollution.

It is also going back to the old eugenic approach to road planning where working class areas became race tracks and only the fit could survive. Harrow Road and Elephant and Castle spring to mind.

My biased pedestrian and ageing point of view.

prj45 said...

Can somebody explain this to me please.

These are Pelican crossings right? That's PE LI CON, PEdestrian LIght CONntrolled.

I.e. they don't go red unless somebody pushes the button.

So why does Kuvleer state that people find it frustrating sitting at a red light for no reason, when if this light is red it means somebody has pushed the button SO THEY CAN CROSS THE F**KING ROAD!?

Anonymous said...

There is a possiblity that this will be a sly way to introduce speed camera's to bring about a massive income to cash strapped London Borough's !

Helen said...

I suspect it's an order from Tory High Command to kill off those who are the biggest drain on the Big Society - young people, old people, infirm people, people who can't afford Bentleys and have to walk to the shops, etc.

prj45 said...

Anonymous: "There is a possiblity that this will be a sly way to introduce speed camera's to bring about a massive income to cash strapped London Borough's !"

Is that speed cameras to catch the cars, or the peds scrambling across the roads to avoid being struck?!

Malcolm Armsteen said...

At least three of these crossings are next to bus stops where school kids have to cross busy roads - so that makes sense, doesn't it? Can we not expect drivers to wait just a few seconds?

AdamB said...

Ah but a few seconds is a long time in a busy mayor's schedule. Just think of all the other brilliant initiatives he could be coming up with in that time.

Anonymous said...


I guess that the uncaring Mayor and his Conservative Team could also try and introduce new pedestrian laws on how the roads should be crossed , similar to those in Singapore. That way the Mayor could have the bread buttered both sides for London Boroughs,for example : Fines for speeding motorist and other vehicle offences caught on camera and in addition to this ,fines for pedestrians that cannot walk God knows how far to a safe and legal place to cross unless they have a Pole Vault. Maybe this is what Boris Johnson and Kulveer wants so that they can keep in with the new so called Radicle Approach without thought or care for others.