We maintain all pedestrian crossings in Cheshire East. We are also responsible for putting in new crossings and crossing points.
You can report pedestrian crossing issues online.
Wait times for lights to change
Sometimes it can take several minutes for the lights to change after you press the button. This does not mean there is a problem.
We design the timings for each set of lights to fit the circumstances of the particular crossing.
Where there is more than one set of traffic to control, we programme the lights to give each set of traffic a turn. So if you press the button just after the pedestrian green man has finished, you will have to wait until each set of traffic has had a green light before there is another turn for pedestrians.
Another reason it can take longer than you expect for the lights to change is that we sometimes set a delay between the end of the traffic green light and the start of the pedestrian green man. We do this to reduce the risk that drivers will still be trying to get through the lights when pedestrians start to cross.
Computerised traffic light controls
In parts of Crewe and Macclesfield, we use a centralised computer system to control traffic lights. The system uses sensors to detect the movement of traffic and pedestrians and tells the lights how to respond. For example, the system will increase the crossing time if a pedestrian is crossing slowly.
Beeps and signal cones
The only crossings that make a beeping noise today are those where there are no other crossings nearby. This is because where there are several sets of lights at a junction or on a dual carriageway, beeps make it hard for blind and partially-sighted people to tell which crossing the beeping is for.
Instead of the beeps, there is a cone underneath the right hand side box with the button. Touch the cone, and you will feel it spin when the green man shows.
Tactile surfaces to help people with visual impairments
To help visually impaired people, we're adding tactile surfaces to the pavement at crossings and crossing points. These surfaces have a pattern of small domes. At zebra crossings or crossing with lights, the surface is red. At other crossing points with dropped kerbs or pedestrian refuges, the surface is buff. At crossings with traffic lights, the surface leads you to the push button.
On shared cycle tracks/footways, we use ladder/tramline paving to divide the cycle track and footway.
Types of crossings
Zebra crossings are the simplest type of crossing. They are effective where traffic isn't too busy and where it's easy for people and drivers to see each other.
Puffin crossings have the red/green man display in a box by the button. This means you face towards the oncoming traffic as you look at the display, which is safer than looking across the road to a display on the other side. There's no flashing green man stage. Some puffin crossings have sensors that tell the lights to stay red for cars for longer is someone is crossing slowly or to cancel the crossing request if the pedestrian goes away or crosses before the lights change.
Toucan crossings are like puffin crossings, but are designed for both pedestrians and cyclists. You'll usually see them where cycle paths cross roads.
Pelican crossings have red/green man signs on the far side of the road. We are replacing all our pelican crossing with puffin crossings.
We can look at putting in new pedestrian crossings, crossing points (for example, safety refuges and dropped kerbs) where there's a clear need.
When we get a request for a new pedestrian crossing or crossing point, we consider a number of things. These include:
Where a crossing isn't suitable, we'll see whether there's anything else we can do to help..