Make pedestrian crossing times longer, London Assembly urges TfL

Pedestrian crossing in Whitechapel where drivers don't get 'red light' when people cross road

Pedestrian crossing in Whitechapel where drivers don't get 'red light' when people cross road - Credit: London Assembly

Demands are being made to extend the automated time period for people to use pedestrian crossings at some of London’s dangerous traffic hot spots.

They follow visits by London Assembly members to examine crossings where the danger of deaths and injuries are high.

The notorious crossing in Whitechapel High Street, outside Whitechapel Gallery, was included in the inspections where Assembly members found there was no red light visible to drivers while people crossed.

Nearly 70 pedestrians were killed and more than 1,000 seriously injured on crossings in London in 2012, an average of three casualties a day, latest available figures show.

The City Hall delegation led by transport chair Val Shawcross was, ironically, in Whitechapel on February 6 when a pedestrian was killed in a traffic accident just a few hundred yards away in Mansell Street.

“There would be uproar if three passengers a day were killed or injured on the buses,” she said.

“It’s time to redress the balance and place equal safety emphasis on pedestrians.

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“It’s not right that pedestrian deaths and injuries are treated as acceptable—they’re not.”

She wants Transport for London to aim for “zero casualties” rather than its target of 40 per cent reduction.

The Assembly is calling for TfL to raise the time-limit at crossings to one second for every yard or metre it takes to cross the road.

It also want a pedestrians’ champion appointed, similar to Andrew Gilligan for cycling, and latest data on casualties published every month instead of once a year.

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