Tuesday, January 27, 2009

don't try crossing the road in Penarth!

Photograph taken today in Penarth where 4 pedestrian crossings are currently closed. One has a fence around it as there is a hole, but the other three have been closed simply to ensure that more cars can pass through the roadworks... Car culture.

According to the DfT report Inclusive Mobility:
If street works mean that a pedestrian crossing cannot be used, the following should be done:

𐂄 put barriers across pedestrian accesses to the crossing.

𐂄 use signs showing Zebra, Pelican etc crossing not in use. Place them so that they face pedestrians on both sides of the road.

𐂄 extinguish or cover Zebra crossing globes, switch off the lights on Pelican, Puffin or Toucan crossings.


Clearly there should be barriers on the crossings, which are missing.

I believe that there is a health and safety issue here as a partially sighted person (or a person unable to read English or Welsh) may continue to use the crossing - as most people do anyway, or even trip over the sign which is less than the 1m required for a barrier to prevent this occurrence.

Further, the DfT does say that "IF the pedestrian crossing cannot be used"... Clearly it can and has been closed for one reason - speeding motorists through the road works. This is clearly not moral or necessary.

The pedestrian crossing continues to function despite the sign, cones and covering of the beacons no significant delay for motorists - and avoiding considerable delay, inconvenience and exposure to the elements for pedestrians. Further, with Bradenham Place and Albert Road both closed, traffic is light and there is an opportunity to install a one-way system on Windsor Terrace and Stanwell Road - or simply close Windsor Road and divert traffic onto Hickman Raod and/or Albert Road and Plassy Street.

The crossing closure is not about pedestrian safety, but for motorist convenience. Is this legal, though totally unethical? As this is a zebra crossing, not a pelican, does this make a difference, as pedestrians only gain right of way once they have stepped out... where as, with a pelican crossing, the light phases may cause problems, and cause confusion.

In my search for answers, I have discovered that whilst using a crossing, pedestrians have to walk on the right hand side of the crossing. Is this the craziest rule? Alas...

Given that there are no barriers, are the free standing signs pictured actually legal?

All answers and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,