New type of pedestrian crossing to be installed at Royal Parade
A NEW kind of pedestrian crossing is to be put in place on Royal Parade to replace one which a city judge once described as "very hazardous".
The brand new 'countdown' signals crossing at Royal Parade, next to the Big Screen, is part of the next phase of revision work which has already included a high friction road surface and more visible 'bubble' tiles for pedestrians.
Plymouth City Council said this new type of crossing has been piloted in London with great success. They are designed to reduce uncertainty about when it is safer to cross.
The green man still signals the start of the crossing period but rather than then going to black before the red man appears, a countdown will show pedestrians exactly how long they have to cross the road. Work will begin on the crossing today.
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The changes to the crossing came about following the death of 88-year-old Hazel Edgerton who was hit by a lorry at the crossing in February 2010.
Driver Shaun Chaffe was later acquitted of killing the great-great-grandmother and trial judge Judge Francis Gilbert QC criticised the road set-up saying: "In my opinion, a major factor in this fatality was the layout and operation of this crossing. I do think it's a very hazardous junction for pedestrians at all times."
The crossing was built in 2004 to Department for Transport standards to make it safer and easier for pedestrians to cross Royal Parade, according to a council statement released after the trial.
It replaced a subway with steep ramps that were difficult for elderly and disabled people to negotiate.
Following the trial, then council leader Vivien Pengelly confirmed transport officers would review the layout and operation of the crossing, which links the Civic Centre and Guildhall with the Piazza.
Speaking today about the new phase of improvements, Councillor Mark Coker, cabinet member for transport said: "The Royal Parade pedestrian crossing is very busy and we want it to be as safe as possible for people to use.
"These new signals have been tested in crowded areas in London and have proven popular, they give people more information about exactly when they should or shouldn't try to cross the road."
A leaflet showing how the new crossing will look is available on the council's website at www.plymouth.gov.uk.