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Pedestrian Crossings

The Council has responsibility for the maintenance of pedestrian crossings in Merthyr Tydfil. All roads are subject to an inspection on a periodic basis and our Highway Inspector reports any problems noted in that inspection for repair.

It is our duty to provide and maintain pedestrian crossings so if you notice a problem with a crossing and wish to report the problem, you can use the online general report it form, or, alternatively you can contact us using the information at the bottom of this page.

Requesting A New Pedestrian Crossing

The Council receives many requests each year for new crossings. To help use precious resources to best effect, each site is considered against National guidelines provided by the Department for Transport. The main factors measured are the number of people crossing and the amount of traffic. Other factors include the number of injures on the road near the site and local features such as hospitals, schools and shops.

There are five different types of crossing. Below is more information on the different crossings which may help you if you need to contact us about a crossing.

Crossing Types

Puffin Crossings (Pedestrian User Friendly Intelligent Crossing) 

Puffin crossings look very similar to Pelicans. Puffin crossings are an updated version of a Pelican Crossing. One of the main differences is that the red and green man signals are just above the WAIT box and not on the other side of the road. Pedestrians should press the button on the box. Puffin crossings have special sensors built in which can detect a pedestrian waiting and make sure that traffic remains stopped until all the pedestrians have crossed the road. Puffins do not have a flashing green man for pedestrians or a flashing amber for drivers.

Pelican (Pedestrian Light Controlled Crossing)

Pelican crossings are controlled by the pedestrian pressing the button on the WAIT box. Pedestrians should only cross when the green man lights up and all the traffic has stopped. Sometimes there is a bleeper to help blind or partially sighted people know when it is safe to cross. Alternatively there may be a rotating knob underneath the WAIT box, which turns when the green man lights up. Pedestrians should not start to cross if the green man is flashing.

Zebra Crossing

This crossing has black and white stripes (like a zebra) with orange flashing beacons at each end. A Zebra crossing gives the pedestrian right of way once their foot is on the crossing. However, pedestrians should take care to ensure that traffic has time to stop before stepping on to the crossing and they should keep looking and listening as they cross. Many people ask for Zebra crossings to be changed to Puffin crossings, believing them to be safer. Recent research has
shown that the safety record of both types is very similar and that, in some cases, Zebras are safer.

Toucan Crossings (Two-Can Cross)

These crossings are provided for pedestrians and cyclists, usually at sites where cycle routes cross busy roads. They are similar to a Puffin with the crossing operated by a push button on the WAIT box. On a Toucan there is a green and red cycle signal as well as the more familiar red and green man. The main advantage for cyclists is that they do not have to dismount to cross. Toucans also have sensors to detect pedestrians using the crossing. There is no flashing green man signal and drivers must wait for a green light.

Pedestrian Refuges

In some locations, where a pedestrian crossing cannot be justified, a pedestrian refuge (traffic island) may be placed. These narrow the road and allow pedestrians to cross in two halves with a safe place to wait in the middle. Pedestrians should cross with care as drivers have priority at traffic islands.

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