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Blounts Court/A360 Pedestrian Crossing

August 9, 2018 10:45 AM
By Alan Rankin

What are your experiences of crossing the A360 to and from the Blounts Court side of the road to the George and Dragon side of the road? Have you experienced a 'near miss' moment and how do you feel when you need to cross the road? Your views are important and need to be known by the Parish Council, the Devizes Area Board and eventually Wiltshire Council if any improvements are to be made. Please discuss the issue with your neighbours.

Blounts Court crossing

What is missing from this photo? Below I've outlined possible solutions see what makes sense to you. Other ideas relating to reducing traffic speed have also been made during conversations. What do you think should be added?

Zebra crossings

Zebra crossings have two sets of flashing amber beacons (known as 'Belisha beacons' after the Liberal politician Leslie Hore-Belisha, who introduced them to crossings in 1934). They have an area of road between them that's painted in black and white stripes. Drivers are legally obliged to give way to pedestrians waiting to cross. Remember - zebra crossings don't have traffic lights but they do have a broken give-way line that drivers mustn't cross when they stop. Failing to give way to pedestrians is a criminal offence that can result in points on a driving licence. Difficult to see pedestrians waiting, particularly on the George and Dragon side and probably not suitable here.

Pelican crossings

Pelican crossings differ from zebra crossings in that the flow of traffic is controlled by traffic lights. (And as far as I know, they weren't named after a politician called Mr Pelican). Pedestrians waiting at a pelican crossing are able to press a button that changes the traffic lights to red after a timed delay. Sounds simple enough - pedestrians press the button and cross once the lights are red. Well, in theory it is simple, but accidents can and do occur as a result of drivers misunderstanding the light sequence or just not seeing pedestrians.

Puffin crossings

Pelican and puffins are essentially the same (try telling that to an ornithologist!), except that a puffin crossing has its sequences controlled by sensors mounted on the lights, rather than a timer. These sensors can detect whether any pedestrians are on the crossing and control the colour of the lights accordingly. Once the control button has been pressed, the lights will only change back to green once the crossing is clear. A puffin crossing doesn't have a flashing amber phase drivers have to wait until the lights turn green before they move off. Perhaps a Pelican would be more at home here than a Puffin.

Toucan crossings

Toucan crossings are designed for pedestrians and cyclists to use at the same time. That's not to say that cyclists can't use zebra, pelican and puffin crossings, but they should get off their bikes and wheel them across. With a toucan crossing, the area is wider, leaving plenty of room for cyclists to ride across. Not sure this would be appropriate here. What do you think?

Chicken crossings

There's no such thing in road safety but sort of what we have currently. Perhaps we also need to remember that the chicks that chirp loudest get fed first when someone suggests nothing can be done because there is no money.

Alan Rankin

Let me know your thoughts comment on Facebook or email me alan.rankin@wiltshirelibdems.org.uk.