TfL has announced that pedestrians will be given priority at 18 road crossings in London as new upgrades are rolled out.
Road crossing signals at the 18 locations will display a continuous “green person” signal to pedestrians until a vehicle approaches, giving those on foot priority and making it easier to cross the road.
It forms part of an effort to encourage active and sustainable forms of travel and prevent a “car-led” recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said: “We know that safety is a key concern for people walking around London, and giving pedestrians priority is a powerful way of putting them first and making it easier to cross London’s roads.
“By combining this with creating extra pavement space and ensuring roadworks are carried out in a way that doesn’t disrupt Londoners, we will make our city the world’s most walkable and eradicate collisions on our streets.”
Pedestrian priority has already been introduced at seven locations in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hounslow, Richmond and Hillingdon, with 11 more to be introduced over the next month in Barking and Dagenham, City of London, Croydon, Merton, Southwark, Sutton and Westminster.
London Assembly member Caroline Russell says it is “right that TfL is putting people first” by giving pedestrians priority at the crossings but added that “there are a huge backlog of places that don’t have any crossings that need one urgently”.
Ms Russell said: “I pushed for more pedestrian priority when I put forward a fully-financed plan for at least 40 new zebra crossings and 25 new light-controlled crossings, along with schemes improving junctions, as an amendment to the Mayor’s budget last year.
“The Assembly also unanimously passed my motion on the same issue last year – everyone knows we still need more safe crossings in London for pedestrians, especially at busy junctions.”
The Green Party AM revealed to the Assembly earlier this year that 1,282 people were killed while walking on or near London’s roads in 2019, while 44 had been killed while crossing the road.
In March, the London Assembly unanimously passed Ms Russell’s motion that called on the mayor to review every junction in London and to develop a plan to ensure signalised pedestrian crossings at each one by 2030.