Different Types of Crossing
Puffin Crossings (Pedestrian User Friendly Intelligent
Puffin crossings look very similar to Pelicans. Puffin crossings
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. Pedestrians
should press the button on the box. Puffin crossings have special
sensors built in which can detect a pedestrian waiting and make
sure that traffic remains stopped until all the pedestrians have
crossed the road. Puffins do not have a flashing green man for
pedestrians or a flashing amber for drivers.
Pelican (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. Sometimes
there is a bleeper to help blind or partially sighted people 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. Pedestrians should not start to cross if the green man is
flashing. We no longer install Pelicans as the newer Puffin
crossings provide a better facility for pedestrians.
This crossing has black and white stripes (like a zebra) with
orange flashing beacons at each end. A Zebra crossing gives the
pedestrian right of way 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. Many people ask for Zebra crossings to be changed to
Puffin crossings, believing them to be safer. Recent research has
shown that the safety record of both types is very similar and
that, in some cases, Zebras are safer.
Toucan Crossings (Two-Can Cross)
These crossings are provided for pedestrians and cyclists,
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 there is a green and red cycle signal as
well as the more familiar 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 using the crossing. There
is no flashing green man signal and drivers must wait for a green
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.
Requesting a New Pedestrian Crossing
The County Council receives many requests each year for new
crossings. To help use precious resources to best effect, each site
is surveyed and the results compared with national criteria to
identify the most needy locations. The main factors measured are
the number of people crossing and the amount of traffic. Other
factors include the number of injures on the road near the site,
the degree of difficulty in crossing the road and local features
such as hospitals, schools and shops. A list is then drawn up in
order of priority with the most difficult site for
pedestrians at the top of the list.