Pedestrians to have extra second at green man to cross road

Pedestrians will have one second longer at green man crossings to allow elderly and disabled people to cross the road safely.

Walkers have 6.1 seconds to cross a normal road at a walking speed of 1.2 metres per second, according to current Department for Transport guidelines.

New recommendations by government agency Active Travel England (ATE), which is part of the Department of Transport, will allow 7.3 seconds to cross a road at one metre per second.

The current guidelines were created in the early 1950s as the UK was adapting to the rapid increase in the number of vehicles on the roads.

The recommended changes are being used on a pilot basis and will be put out to consultation in September, according to a report in The Sunday Times.

ATE says the recommendations are part of an effort “to enable millions more people to travel by walking, wheeling and cycling for short trips”.

“A big part of that is being able to make sure crossing times are inclusive so that they give enough time for everyone to cross the road,” a spokesperson for ATE said.

“Crossing times can be a challenge, particularly for elderly and disabled people, and a bad experience is enough to put someone off doing it.

“We are aware of a number of transport authorities using sophisticated technology from their control centres to make changes to crossing times at certain points in the day.

“Active Travel England is developing advice notes on critical issues for transport authorities and this includes crossing times.”

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Research published by University College London in 2013 showed the walking speed of 85% of women and 76% of men aged 65 and older was slower than pedestrian lights allowed for, meaning they were unable to use crossings safely.

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