Lights should give priority to vehicles

crossing

As a qualified Risk Assessor I was concerned to read in the Parish Council Newsletter that the intention is to make all the crossings in the village have pedestrian priority.

The first edition of the Parish Council Newsletter stated "There are short-term measures which the Parish Council and Cheshire East hope to implement immediately after the bypass is opened, such as mini-roundabouts, to change traffic priorities, and alterations to the pelican crossing lights in favour of pedestrians."

It would seem to me that it is common sense that drivers seeing pedestrians waiting by the kerbside are far more likely to be aware that the lights are going to change and can therefore prepare to stop. If the lights change immediately on activation by the pedestrian then the driver is at a great disadvantage, particularly in poor weather. Equally, as can be the case, if the pedestrian believes that the lights are going to change immediately then they may step out into the road before the vehicles have had time to come to a full halt.

The latter event I have witnessed many times at the crossing by the Alderley Edge Girls School and the Total Garage. I have seen cars unable to stop as pedestrians walk straight in to the road as soon as they have pressed the button, and even vehicles brush the legs of those on the crossing as they pull up to a halt. This does not occur on Ryleys Lane, where the crossing lights give priority to motorists.

I would recommend that all lights in the village give priority to the vehicles on the road, and thus reduce the risk of an accident taking place.

This a member post from Graeme Simister.

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Parish Council
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Craig Wilson
Monday 18th October 2010 at 7:40 am
I thought that drivers stopped when the lights went red, and pedestrians crossed when the green man appeared. I don't see what the problem is, and only see it as a cheap way of slowing the traffic down through the town, and forcing people to make the choice of using the bypass instead.

That would mean less cars in the town to possibly knock people over...........how does that weigh up to the possibility of more accidents at the crossings?
Graeme Simister
Monday 18th October 2010 at 12:12 pm
The problem is not the number of lights or their positions, already they slow the traffic down, as do the three bus stops and an equal number of schools. It is assumed that with the bypass in operation less traffic will be moving through the village, and therefore possibly at a faster speed (although presumably under 30mph!). Remember also that the bypass will not affect traffic to and from Chelford using Ryleys Lane. They will encounter two sets of lights - one on Ryleys Lane, the other by the Total garage.

It would be a much safer option if the crossings gave drivers the opportunity to see in advance that pedestrians wish to cross so that they can slow down, rather than them having no warning, as soon as a pedestrian wishes to cross. This is particularly important as two of the crossings are outside of schools.
Ian Daglish
Tuesday 19th October 2010 at 12:41 pm
Traffic southbound over the Alderley Railway bridge frequently ignores the red light at the pedestrian crossing, especially early in the morning when the roads are clear and vehicles cross the bridge much too fast. My wife has experienced near-misses on this crossing while jogging early in the morning. On one such occasion when her running companion photographed the vehicle that had gone through the red light the driver stopped and accosted them.

There once was a zebra crossing (remember them?) by the Post Office and Costa - just where people actually *want* to cross!
Geoff Hall
Thursday 21st October 2010 at 9:51 pm
Does it automatically follow that giving the lights pedestrian priority means that the lights have to change instantly when the button is pressed? If necessary, they could still have a short delay.

Where lights are set up to give the drivers priority there can often be a long delay for pedestrians, especially if someone has recently crossed, as the aim is to keep traffic flowing as freely as possible.

It seems to me that the Council is entirely correct in establishing the principle - following the opening of the bypass - that the lights should favour pedestrians, even if that means delaying drivers.

I agree with the previous comment about the need to review the location of the crossings - this would probably be a much more useful safety measure.
Frank Keegan
Sunday 24th October 2010 at 5:47 pm
The lights in the village have different priorities:

a) at main school times, outside AESG they change fairly quickly (not instantaneously, but fairly quickly). At non school times, they change dependent on when the last time they were used; ie they favour the flow of traffic, rather than the pedestrian.
b) On Ryleys Lane, they change as AESG.
C) At RBS/Heyes Lane, and at Martins Newsagents they change in line with demand, but favour motorists

The Parish Council would like all the lights to be on demand rather than at intervals favouring the motorists. The idea is that the village - post by-pass - ought to be a haven for pedestrians and traffic nuisance at a minimum.
Graeme Simister
Monday 25th October 2010 at 11:37 am
Yes Frank, the village should be a haven for pedestrians, but you must realise that if there is less traffic through the village - which there surely will be - then it will be travelling more freely, therefore probably quicker. Make the village safer for pedestrians by ensuring that a driver can see them, be aware that they are going to cross and hence have time to stop by not changing the lights almost on demand.

To have lights changing differently depending on the time of day is not practical. Are they scheduled differently during the school holidays? I think not.