A note providing a review on the current guidance for the implementation of pedestrian crossings and area where new pedestrian crossings would be beneficial
Gafoor Din (Section Manager (Delivery Lead) Traffic Control & Information Systems) presented a PowerPoint and highlighted the following points:
· Maintenance on the crossings was done by a third-party company.
· The current policy was set out in the 2011 Local Transport Plan (LTP).
· Justification for crossings is done by looking at pedestrian movements, vehicle movement, the road’s layout. This is done as part of a full evaluation.
· Pedestrian crossings are in high demand (a request every two weeks) so they need to be justified when implemented.
· The County Council criteria for a Puffin crossing requires an average of 1,000 two-way vehicle flow per hour and 90 pedestrians crossing the road per hour; over the four busiest hours of the day.
· The LTP formula was P x V2 = or greater than 0.9 x 108
· Multiplying factors are used for pedestrians trying to cross the road for an example their age, disabilities, etc. This is the same with vehicles including bikes. The road’s width, accident data and the average waiting time to cross the road. These factors are considered in the formula.
· P = the number of pedestrians crossing in an hour - weighted by age and ability. This was scored with the following multiplier factors: Adult=1, >16=1.5, Elderly=2, Disabled (including cane users) =3.
· V = the flow of traffic in PCUs (passenger car units), lorries had a bigger multiplying factor as they take up more road space. Bikes’ (pedal and motor) multiplication factor is set at 1.
· Road speed limits are considered in the formula, higher speeds means that it more difficult to judge when it is safe to cross.
· The number of injuries for pedestrians in the last three years on a prospective road are considered.
· Roughly it takes crossings 20-26 seconds for the traffic lights to change so pedestrians could cross the road, so if they have to wait longer than 20 seconds to cross the road without a crossing then this would be a bigger factor for the implementation formula.
· If a site is approved, then more data is gathered with a 12-hour survey (7am-7pm) looking at the two-way traffic flow and any pedestrians that cross the road 50 metres either side of the planned location. The average from the four busiest periods is obtained.
· All the data is worked out via the formula, and this provides a justification percentage. Any that are justified are put forward for the capital funding scheme.
· Crossings could also be implemented as part of: - safer routes to school schemes, casualty reduction schemes, developer funded schemes, facilities installed on key pedestrian/cycle corridors and funded by an area committee delegated budget.
· Roughly there are one injury accident annually on a pedestrian crossing in Warwickshire, which is lower compared to other authorities.
· New schemes can be assessed in four different Road Safety Audits stages, Stage 1 - feasibility stage, Stage 2 – detail design stage, Stage 3 - when it is open and used by the public and Stage 4 – 12 to 24 months after implementation.
· Some DfT schemes need to be monitored for five years after implementation
· Members could fund crossings from their delegated budgets in their specific areas, were there is significate demand but did not meet the criteria.
· In 2019 the DfT released new site assessment criteria, but Warwickshire was already doing this as part of their 2011 policy. This included: crossing difficulty, vehicle delay during peak periods, road capacity, local representations, costs, and vehicle speeds
· There were 266 crossings in Warwickshire and 147 traffic signals, 64 sites were over 15 years old which meant that the signal heads/poles needed replacing.
· The 2004 Traffic Management Act stated that anything on the network had to be work effectively/efficiently i.e. with vehicle detectors fully functional.
· The 1984 Traffic Regulation Act stated that all pedestrian crossings had to be properly maintained.
· The 2010 Equality Act stated that all crossings had to be accessible and usable for everyone. New ways of pushing the button to cross was implemented at some sites including apps to push the button within two metres of a crossing, and motion sensors.
· All crossings had Equality Impact Assessments were necessary.
· Feasibility studies for crossings were about £1, 1000 as this was done by a third-party company with motion sensor cameras
· New puffin crossings costed about £85,000 and were about £720 to maintain annually. Some crossings have BT connection lines to monitor them.
Councillor Matecki praised the presentation and said the formula should ‘equal or greater than’ as it would never be ‘equal to’. In response to Councillor Matecki, Gafoor Din agreed regarding the formula and added that the current council policy takes into account ‘suppressed demand’ (when there are residents either side of the road) and this is considered as part of the formula. It was important to do a site visit to ascertain what the difficulties are at any specific location and the local member would be informed of the outcome of the investigation.
In response to Councillor Watson, Gafoor Din said that a crossing would be implemented if it was 90% justified but sometimes if a site was around 80% justified it would be considered and it would be built if members put some of their budget towards. Crossings could be removed if they were no longer justified, like in Barford but a full consultation would be done under the Equality Act before this is removed. Simi cards are being considered for remote monitoring crossings rather than BT lines (where there was good coverage). The Highway Code was considered in the policy and its impact was considered at specific sites.
Following a question from Councillor Bhagwant Pandher, Gafoor Din confirmed that the approximate period of 1 year for a scheme to be implemented after all the data is collected and everything is designed and assessed, there was still the legal requirement to advertise it; objections to it need to be reported to the Portfolio Holder and addressed. There were a lot of schemes that needed to be implemented but this was restricted because of road space; this caused three schemes in Leamington to be delayed because of the Commonwealth Games. If a scheme was redesigned, then this would need to go out again for consultation. If a crossing scheme is justified but cannot be funded by the Council or S278 funding, then members would be asked if they wanted to fund it with their delegated budget.
Councillor Fradgley thanked Gafoor Din for his quick responses when she had crossing issues raised. In response to Councillor Fradgley, Gafoor Din clarified that the ‘greenman’ period was an invitation to cross period and not the time to cross the whole width of the road after this period the red light for cars should stay on for a maximum period of approximately 20 seconds and during this period the lights will not change until the pedestrian are still crossing the road, their movements are detected by the senor mounted on the traffic signal poles.
In response to Councillor Richard Baxter-Payne, Gafoor Din confirmed that the Council tells developers where crossings should be as part of their development. They would push for S278 funding as this meant developers would pay the fully cost for the implementation of the scheme plus a commuted sum of £36,750 to the Council for maintaining the crossing for 15 years plus one upgrade.
In response to Councillor Matecki, Gafoor Din stated that there was no set distance that was needed between crossings, but this would be subject to a Road Safety Audit. There were two crossings close together on Bowling Green Street because one was for the school and the other one for the car park. However, they try to limit the number of crossings they put on the network near each other.
The Chair thanked Gafoor Din for attending the meeting.