Transport for London (TfL) has been experimenting with the default status of traffic lights, trialling new Green Person Authority signals at 18 locations across the city.
These innovative signals shift the priority from road users to pedestrians, showing by default a red light to traffic and a green man indicating that it is safe to cross on foot. When traffic approaches these sites, the red light temporarily switches to green to allow it to continue through.
Interesting new data has now been released from the trial, which indicates that this pioneering technology has been hugely successful in helping to boost safety since the beginning of the trial in May 2021 – helping deliver TfL and the Mayor’s Vision Zero commitment to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on London’s roads.
The trial highlighted huge benefits to pedestrians, with the technology making it easier and safer for them to cross, and reducing their journey times. At the average trial location, the collective time saved by pedestrians was 1.3 hours per day, with the green pedestrian signal showing for an extra 56 minutes per day. More than half of pedestrians were able to cross within 5 seconds of arriving at a crossing, effectively not waiting for the green man at all. Whilst compliance with the signals by road users stayed the same, compliance by pedestrians did increase during the trial by 13%, reducing the risk of collision with a vehicle.
This increase in safety and convenience for pedestrians was found to have virtually no impact on traffic. Any increase in journey times was minimal, with the largest recorded increase in travel time being just 11 seconds. Several sites even showed improved journey times.
To ensure a healthy and sustainable pandemic recovery, enabling more people to walk or cycle is paramount. The trial offered promising results for a shift towards this goal, and TfL now continues to assess how pedestrian priority technology could be improved and rolled out to other locations across London.
At AGD, we’re pleased to see such positive results and hope this paves the way for more pedestrian and traffic monitoring solutions being implemented across the capital, to the benefit of all road users.