Roehampton To Go Digital

One of eight areas in London to trial the "Countdown Crossings"

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Digital 'Countdown' timers tell pedestrians how long they have to safely cross the road. System expected to smooth traffic flow across London. A trial crossing will be on the A306 Roehampton Lane, at the junction with the Queen Mary's Hospital access road.

Mayor Boris Johnson, pledged a trial of the technology, which will give Londoners clarity on how long they have to cross the road and help keep traffic moving.

Pedestrian Countdown systems have already been used with great success in other world cities and will be trialled in London for 18 months, the display will show pedestrians the time between the green man symbol going out and the red man appearing. This will make it clear to pedestrians how much time they have left to cross the road safely.

A Transport for London (TfL) study of pedestrian behaviour (see notes to editors) at crossings with signals found that around half of the pedestrians observed crossed even when the red man symbol was displayed.

Safer crossings

In addition, 60 per cent of pedestrians asked were not aware that the blackout period, as well as the green man phase, is there to allow pedestrians to complete their crossing safely.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
'I want to make London an easier place for everyone to get around whether they are on foot or on wheels.
This technology already works well in other cities around the world and by bringing it to London's streets is just one of the ways we are continuing to improve the experience of travelling around the Capital. We hope this will make London safer for all concerned and smooth the flow of traffic to help keep London, and its inhabitants, moving.'

David Brown, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said:
'Around one in five of all fatal and serious pedestrian injuries in London occur at pedestrian crossings.
Our research has shown that many people in London are not sure about the amount of time they have to safely cross the road. Pedestrian Countdown will remove that concern and give them a clear indication of how long they have to cross before the red man phase begins.  This will hopefully lead to less pedestrian injuries.'

TfL and the Department of Transport will look carefully at the results of the trial to see whether Pedestrian Countdown technology could be rolled out to other traffic junctions across London.

June 28, 2010