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Monday, February 28, 2011

Traffic light numbers increase

I suppose that instinctively we all knew this to be the case but it is reassuring to have it confirmed anyway, today's Daily Telegraph reports that the number of traffic lights on Britain's roads jumped by around 30 per cent between 2000 and 2008, with lights in London rising 23 per cent to more than 6,000.

According to the RAC Foundation, which conducted the study, said there are now more than 25,000 sets of traffic lights in the UK:

Produced by former Whitehall transport and planning chief Irving Yass, the report also revealed the number of traffic signals equipped to give priority to buses went up from 3,801 at the beginning of 2007 to 8,425 at the end of 2008.

The number of junctions in London with a full pedestrian crossing stage – when all the lights for vehicle are at red – increased from 481 in 2000 to 783 in 2010.

The report said that there should be a review of such junctions.

I am sure that most of these lights are in Swansea but it is likely that many other towns and cities would say the same. The report makes a number of recommendations that are worth looking at though I would personally be opposed to reducing the green man invitation:

* The Department for Transport (DfT) should consider carrying out trials of flashing amber lights at times when there is little traffic, which would allow drivers to proceed with caution at junctions;

* Authorities should consider standardising the green man invitation to cross period at six seconds rather than the usual 10 seconds;

* There should be wider use of the ''countdown'' system which shows pedestrians just how long they have to cross the road;

* The DfT should allow for trialling of cyclists turning left at a red signal if safe to do so;

* Local authorities should see if they can remove traffic lights or replace them with alternatives such as mini-roundabouts.

As a driver I know how frustrating some of these lights are, however pedestrian safety has to be a priority. We should not design our environment around the demands of motor vehicles.
Agree Peter - 6 seconds to cross the road is not long enough for elderly people/parents with toddlers and buggies etc. RAC foundation should hang their heads in shame for advocating this measure, although other ideas sound sensible
Six seconds to cross a road! really?

I'm in reasonable health and that seems far to fast to get across roads (thinking about crossings on the Kingsway inparticular).

In stead of a green man you'll need to have a starting pistol!
'We should not design our environment around the demands of motor vehicles.'

Fully agree. Our urban and sub-urban landscapes should be designed around the bicycle and bus.

Bicycles have zero emissions and do not endanger life.

Possibly 2 lanes- one for bus the other for cycle and electric cycle
Just see what is happening in sunny Weymouth. All the main (beautifully landscaped) Town Centre roundabouts have been ripped up, and are being replaced by very complex traffic lights. The £20m Weymouth Transport Package (prime aim to give priority to buses) is part funded by the Olympic Delivery Authority, who laid the ground rules.
See the Dorset Echo website to see what the local drivers think of it.
Happy St. David's Day!
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