All crossings are designed to give priority to pedestrians by minimising the time they have to wait to cross.
In Cheshire East there are:
Pedestrian light controlled crossings
At this type of crossing a person waiting to cross a road presses the push-button on a control box mounted on a traffic signal post. This activates the traffic light and briefly interrupts the vehicle flow long enough to let pedestrian(s) cross in safety.
Various devices are installed at crossings to help blind and partially sighted people:
- on single carriageways traditional 'bleepers' are in place at the vast majority of pelican crossings; and
- on dual carriageways this old type of audible signal causes problems for blind and partially sighted people because, when the traffic stops and the bleeper sounds, a blind person is unable to distinguish which half of the crossing is safe to cross. The solution to this is to install a small rotating cone device, on the underside of the push button box (a blind person holds the cone between finger and thumb and, when it starts to turn, knows that ‘the green man’ is showing and it should be safe to cross).
All new sites with signal controlled pedestrian facilities have an audible signal (bleeper) or the rotating cone, or both. Any existing sites with signal controlled pedestrian facilities, when being modified or upgraded, are supplied with bleepers and/or rotating cones.
Pedestrian user friendly intelligent crossings
This new type of crossing is to replace the pelican crossing. A puffin crossing differs from a pelican crossing in that there is no flashing 'green man' period for pedestrians or flashing amber period for motorists. Instead detectors are used to:
- determine that there is still a pedestrian waiting to cross; and
- extend the 'green man' time while a pedestrian is on the actual crossing.
This system is considered to be much safer as pedestrians who will no longer be intimidated by motorists while on the crossing during the flashing green man/flashing amber traffic period.
The 'green man' period will also be variable to cater for slower pedestrians. The red/green man signals now form part of the push button unit. These are sited so that pedestrians, when looking at these signals, are also looking in the direction of oncoming traffic.
Pedestrians can therefore ensure, more easily, that traffic has stopped before starting to cross the road under the green man signal. Also being much closer to waiting pedestrians they are easier to see, particularly for the visually impaired, rather than looking for older type signals across the road.
In addition, the pedestrian demand will be cancelled if the pedestrian, having pressed the push button, crosses through a gap in the traffic. This will avoid motorists being stopped unnecessarily when there are no pedestrians waiting to cross.
Another new type of crossing, the toucan, operates in exactly the same way as the puffin crossing except that it is (usually) wider and is shared by both cyclists and pedestrians.
These crossings do not have a pedestrian controlled facility, as in other types of crossings (pelican, puffin and toucan crossings).