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Transport for London gives walkers green light

Eighteen pedestrian crossings in London have been programmed to show a continuous green person signal until traffic approaches to prioritise walkers.

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London wants to become the world's most walkable city
London wants to become the world's most walkable city

Eighteen pedestrian crossings in London have been programmed to show a continuous green person signal until traffic approaches to prioritise people walking.

 

It marks another step in realising the mayor and Transport for London’s (TfL) vision of making London the world’s most walkable city, as set out in their Walking Action Plan.

 

Green recovery

 

TfL said the Green Person Authority technology will be in place by end of June and aims to help make the capital’s transport network even more sustainable and support a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The signals show this green light until a vehicle is detected, making it easier for people to cross the road, enabling more journeys on foot.

 

The technology has been delivered at seven locations in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hounslow, Richmond and Hillingdon and will be installed at a further 11 locations over the coming weeks.

 

The number of journeys made on foot has significantly increased throughout the pandemic, with TfL data from earlier this year showing that almost a third (31 per cent) of Londoners say they are walking to places where they used to travel by a different mode, and three-fifths (57 per cent) say they now go on more walks for exercise or walk for longer than previously.

“We know that safety is a key concern for people walking around London, and giving pedestrians priority is a powerful way of putting them first and making it easier to cross London’s roads”

At one point last year, the number of journeys made on foot increased from 35 per cent of journeys to almost half.

 

Several factors have influenced the signal locations, including high pedestrian flow, proximity to pedestrian destinations such as shopping centres, stations and schools, and suitability of existing technology.

TfL continues to identify new locations where Green Person Authority crossings can be introduced, with the aim of increasing their number over the coming years.

 

TfL has also recently extended its Lane Rental scheme to charge for roadworks on 20 of the capital’s footways. TfL has introduced a charge of £350 per day for works that impact on the busiest areas of pavement in the capital, to minimise disruption to people walking.

 

People walking, particularly those with accessibility needs, can be badly impacted by pavements being dug up, especially at the busiest times.

 

Daily fee charged

 

The Lane Rental scheme allows TfL to charge utility companies and infrastructure providers a daily fee for digging up the busiest sections of London’s roads at the busiest times.

 

This encourages companies to plan their works outside of the most sensitive times. All money raised from the scheme is then reinvested in initiatives and innovations designed to reduce the congestion and disruption caused by roadworks across the capital.

 

From March 2020 onwards, TfL worked closely with boroughs across London to deliver around 22,500 square metres of extra pavement space across the capital. The pavements were widened, either using barriers or temporary pavement buildouts, to give people more space to walk and socially distance as part of TfL’s emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Greater space on footways make it easier for walking, especially for disabled people. TfL research shows that on average people who regularly walk to the high street spend up to 29 per cent more than people who drive.

 

“Walking has so many benefits – it doesn’t just enable us to get from A to B, but also improves our mental and physical health,” said Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner. “We know that safety is a key concern for people walking around London, and giving pedestrians priority is a powerful way of putting them first and making it easier to cross London’s roads.

 

“By combining this with creating extra pavement space and ensuring roadworks are carried out in a way that doesn’t disrupt Londoners, we will make our city the world’s most walkable and eradicate collisions on our streets.”

 

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