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Khan to stay committed to making London the world's most walkable city with new traffic light system

Image credit: Pixabay/Greater London Authority remixed

Sadiq Khan and Transport for London (TfL) are still fully committed to making London the world's most 'walkable city', according to their latest announcement.

TfL announced that 18 pedestrian crossings that are programmed to show a continuous 'green person' signal until traffic approaches are being introduced to prioritise people walking.

These will be in place by the end of June and will help make the capital's transport network even more sustainable and support a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

'Green Person Authority' traffic signals are being introduced across the capital, which are configured to show a green signal to pedestrians continuously.

The signals show this green light until a vehicle is detected, with TfL believing this will make it easier for people to cross the road, enabling more journeys on foot.

’Green Person Authority' has now been delivered at seven locations in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hounslow, Richmond and Hillingdon, and will be installed at a further 11 locations over the coming weeks.

The number of journeys made on foot has hugely increased throughout the pandemic, with TfL data from earlier this year showing that 31% of Londoners say they are walking to places where they used to travel by a different mode, and 57% say they now go on more walks for exercise or walk for longer than they did before.

According to TfL, at one point last year, the number of journeys made on foot increased from 35% of journeys to almost 50%. The new traffic signals are said to further enable people to travel around the capital this way.

A number of factors have influenced the signal locations, including high pedestrian flow, proximity to pedestrian destinations such as shopping centres, stations and schools, and suitability of existing technology.

TfL has said they will continue to identify new locations where 'Green Person Authority' crossings can be introduced, with the aim of increasing their number over the coming years.

Will Norman, London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: ”Walking has so many benefits - it doesn't just enable us to get from A to B, but also improves our mental and physical health.

”We know that safety is a key concern for people walking around London, and giving pedestrians priority is a powerful way of putting them first and making it easier to cross London's roads.

”By combining this with creating extra pavement space and ensuring roadworks are carried out in a way that doesn't disrupt Londoners, we will make our city the world's most walkable and eradicate collisions on our streets.”

Nick Owen, TfL's Head of Network Performance, said: ”We know that walking is a brilliant way for people to make local journeys, boosting activity levels while cutting the number of car trips and the associated congestion and pollution they can cause.

”We're determined to make it easier for people to cross the road and to give people the space they need to walk safely, and these initiatives will make a difference in enabling more people to access local high streets, shops and other businesses in a sustainable way.”

Mary Creagh, Chief Executive, Living Streets, said: ”Everybody should be able to cross the road safely, directly and without delay. Putting pedestrians first at crossings will make streets safer for everyone.

”This exciting initiative to switch to a default green person gives power back to pedestrians, helping them move around more easily, safely and quickly.”


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