Sadiq Khan and Transport for London (TfL) are still totally committed to making London the most ‘walkable city’ in the world, according to their latest announcement.
TfL announced 18 pedestrian crossings that are preprogrammed to show a continual ‘green person’ signal until vehicles approach are being introduced to put people walking as a priority.
These will all be in situ by the end of June and will aid in making the capital’s transport network yet more sustainable and further support a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Green Person Authority’ traffic signs are being brought in across the capital, which are programmed to show green signals to pedestrians continuously.
The signals show this green light until traffic is detected, with TfL believing this will certainly make it easier for pedestrians to cross the road, allowing for more journeys on foot.
’Green Person Authority’ has now been launched in seven locations in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Richmond, Hillingdon and Hounslow, and will be brought in at a further 11 places in the coming weeks.
The number of journeys made by foot has massively increased throughout the whole pandemic, with TfL data from the start of the year showing that over 30% of Londoners say they are walking to places where they would usually travel to via a different mode, and 57% now say they walk more for exercise or walk for longer than they did previously.
According to TfL, at some point last year, the exact number of journeys made on foot jumped from 35% of journeys to nearly 50%. The new traffic signals are believed to further allow people to travel around the capital this way.
A number of issues have influenced the signal locations, including high pedestrian flow, closeness to pedestrian destinations such as shopping plazas, schools and stations, and the suitability of existing technology.
TfL has stated that they will continue to find new locations where ‘Green Person Authority’ crossings would be suitable, with the aim of continuing to increase their number over the coming years.
Will Norman, London’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, said: ”Walking has so many benefits – it doesn’t just enable us to get from A to B, but also improves our mental and physical health.
”We know that safety is a big 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 making 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.”
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Nick Owen, TfL’s Head of Network Performance, stated: ”We know that walking is a fantastic way for people to make local journeys, boosting activity levels while cutting the number of car trips and the related congestion and pollution they can cause.
”We’re determined to make it simpler for people to cross the road and to give people the space they need to walk safely, and these initiatives will make a difference in allowing more people to access local high streets, shops and other businesses in a sustainable way.”
Mary Creagh, Chief Executive, Living Streets said: ”Everyone should be able to cross the road safely, directly and without delay. Placing pedestrians first at crossings will make streets safer for everyone.
”This exciting initiative to switch to a standard green person gives power back to pedestrians, helping them get around more easily, safely and quickly.”