Pedestrians in the UK will be granted an additional 20 per cent of time to safely cross the road when the pedestrian light is green. This decision comes as a response to the fact that the population, especially the elderly and overweight individuals, tends to move at a slower pace.
According to the guidelines set forth by the Department for Transport (DfT), pedestrians currently have 6.1 seconds to cross an average road while walking at a speed of 1.2 metres per second. However, a new recommendation from The Sunday Times proposes extending the crossing time to 7.3 seconds for individuals moving at a speed of 1 metre per second.
Brian Deegan, the director of inspections at Active Travel England (ATE), explained that much of the existing infrastructure is designed for the average person, leading to the exclusion of a growing number of individuals. To address this issue, adjustments are necessary.
Deegan emphasized the importance of providing sufficient time for pedestrians to cross the road, as inadequate time could discourage them from doing so, thereby restricting their mobility. He warned that some individuals might even feel compelled to stay at home if they lack access to a car. He further stated, “We need to accommodate people according to their capabilities and needs.”