The types of crossing which are used by transport planners and designers in Wigan Borough are explained on this page.
The zebra crossing is the oldest established form of controlled pedestrian crossing, with its distinctive black and white stripes. This crossing relies on vehicles stopping when they observe a pedestrian waiting to cross and for this reason its usefulness has declined in busy areas, or where visibility is poor.
The pelican crossing, using pedestrian-operated push button control, was designed for higher flows of pedestrians and/or vehicles. There are signals for drivers and pedestrians, instructing each when to stop and go. Pedestrians at pelican crossings only have priority to cross whilst their signal is on steady green but do have ‘right of precedence’ to complete their crossing during the flashing green (flashing amber to vehicles) stage.
The puffin crossing (Pedestrian User Friendly Intelligent Crossing) is a development of the pelican crossing and is planned to replace the pelican type as the standard stand-alone pedestrian crossing. It has automatic detection of pedestrians to extend or reduce the all-red period as required to suit the crossing speed of the pedestrian. As well as on-crossing detectors, kerbside detectors can cancel a pedestrian demand if the pedestrian walks away from the crossing point, perhaps having crossed the road in a gap in traffic
The toucan (two can cross) crossing is designed to be a shared crossing for pedestrians and cyclists, with the same form of pedestrian or cyclist on-crossing detector as the puffin crossing. Kerbside detectors can also be employed but only when nearside signalling is used.
The Pegasus is like a toucan crossing but for horses and pedestrians. It is a light-controlled system where a bridleway crosses a main road. The push-button control is 2m from the ground and the little green man light is replaced by a little green horse and rider!
Signalled crossings (which are pelican, puffin or toucan) have been incorporated into the signalling arrangement at junctions, where the red phase for drivers includes a signal aspect for pedestrians crossing at the junction.
Pedestrian crossings are generally placed on busy roads, their function being both to assist pedestrians to cross roads and to do so in greater safety. All crossings have certain facilities to assist disabled pedestrians who wish to cross, such as tactile paving and barrier. Increasingly, the council is installing controlled crossing points with "rotating cones". These are devices which can be felt by visually impaired people as a signal that the lights are on green for them to cross.
The process of deciding whether to install a pedestrian crossing involves carrying out pedestrian and vehicle surveys in the area where the crossing has been requested. The information obtained is then used to identify if a crossing can be justified based on current government guidance.
Pedestrian accident data is also used in the decision process together with site specific data referring to the roads and footways.
These procedures include the collection of site information, photographs, maps and difficulties experienced by vulnerable road users, so that the council can make a balanced judgement on whether the decision can be justified.