Information about Covid19:
Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.

Safer Crossing Places

There are a number of types of safe crossing places:

Continue reading

Always be careful when using a safer crossing place. Other road users are unpredictable: never assume you know what they're going to do next.

  • Always make full use of pedestrian crossings - they are there to help and protect you.
  • Never assume that cars will stop at a pedestrian crossing. Make sure traffic has stopped before crossing and keep looking and listening as you cross.
  • Young children can easily stray onto the road. Always hold their hand and set them a good example.
  • Drivers, be patient with elderly or disabled pedestrians and those with small children as they may be slower crossing than others. Don't harass them by revving your engine.

The Pelican Crossing is a pedestrian light controlled crossing, it is activated by pedestrians when they push the button on the wait box.


  • When the Red Man signal is lit, do not cross. Press the button on the control box and the wait panel will light up.
  • WAIT. It can take a few minutes for the signals to change.
  • When the signal changes to a Steady Green Man you may cross with care. Some Pelican Crossings also have a bleeping sound to help people who have sight problems to know when to cross.
  • When the Green Man signal begins to flash:
    • If you have already started to cross, continue. You will have time to finish crossing safely.
    • If you have not started to cross do not start crossing. Press the button and wait, the sequence will begin again.

Don't forget: never assume a driver is going to stop for you. Make sure all traffic has stopped before you start crossing and keep checking for traffic while you cross.


  • The green light means you can proceed if the crossing is clear.
  • When the steady amber light shows, you must stop unless it is unsafe to do so.
  • If the traffic light at the Pelican Crossing is red you must stop even if there are no pedestrians crossing.
  • When the amber light is flashing you must give way to pedestrians who are still crossing. Allow plenty of time for the more vulnerable pedestrians to cross.

Don't forget:

  • Pelican Crossings are there to help pedestrians cross busy roads safely. Please use caution when approaching these crossings.
  • White zig-zag lines mark the controlled area of a Pelican Crossing. Overtaking or parking in this area is an offence which carries a fine and 3 penalty points.
  • In traffic queues, remember to leave all crossings completely clear.
  • Don't be tempted to park on the zig zags, even for a minute. It could cost a life.


Cyclists, remember to dismount and push your bike across the road when using Pelican crossings.

The Puffin Crossing is an 'Intelligent Crossing' which aims to improve safety and reduce delays. They have detectors that can tell when people are waiting to cross. This is why you must stand by the push button box (on the mat if there is one) if the red man signal is showing. The main difference to a Pelican crossing is that the red and green signals are above the wait box and not across the other side of the road.

The detectors 'watch' the crossing and control the light signals so that you have enough time to cross in safety. Traffic signals change to green as soon as the crossing is clear, so drivers will no longer be stopped if there are no pedestrians in the road or waiting to cross.


  • If the Red Man is showing do not cross. If the Green Man is showing and all traffic has stopped you can cross.
  • Press the button and wait near the push button box, (on the mat if there is one).
  • An indicator light will come on.
  • Watch the red man signal next to you. When it changes to green, and you are sure that the traffic has stopped in both directions, go straight across the road.
  • Complete your crossing within the puffin crossing boundaries so that the detectors are used effectively and traffic will be allowed to continue as soon as possible.

The advantage of Puffin Crossings is that the lights will stay red for drivers until you get to the other side of the road.


The Puffin Crossing has a standard traffic light sequence. Unlike a Pelican Crossing it does not have a flashing amber stage.

The advantages of Puffin Crossings are

  • If pedestrians cross quickly the lights will change back to green sooner than Pelican Crossings.
  • Traffic won't be stopped if pedestrians press the button but cross before the lights change, or if they change their minds.

The Toucan Crossing or 'Two-Can' Crossing is a dual use crossing for both pedestrians and cyclists. The Crossing is activated by a button on the wait box in much the same way as the Pelican and Puffin Crossings. Cyclists do not have to dismount to cross at these points.

Crossing time is monitored by detectors and varied to ensure enough time is given for both pedestrians and cyclists to cross before allowing traffic to move.

  • When you see the Red Man do not cross.
  • Press the button on the box and wait for the Green Man and Green Cycle to appear. When this green signal for pedestrians and cyclists appears the traffic will be given a red signal.
  • Check the traffic has stopped, then cross the road looking and listening for traffic as you cross.
  • If you have already started to cross and the Green Man or Green Cycle turn off, keep going as you will have enough time to complete you crossing before the traffic starts to move.


When you have crossed safely please continue on the cycle path if one is provided; not the pavement.

Remember that both pedestrians and cyclists will be using the crossing together, so please be considerate to those sharing the crossing with you.

With care and consideration sharing the crossing can be safe and easy for all.

Zebra Crossings consist of thick black and white stripes across a road with an orange flashing beacon on either pavement. These crossings give pedestrians the right of way, however pedestrians must make sure that all traffic has stopped before they cross.

The Pegasus crossing is usually used outside race courses or areas where horses are trained. It's similar to the other crossings, but as well as allowing pedestrians to cross safely, it also makes provision for horses and their riders to cross.

Iron railings are generally used to stop pedestrians and horses entering the road in places other than the crossing. The push button to operate the crossing is placed high on the traffic light support for riders, as well as in the usual place for pedestrians.

Traffic islands are sometimes found in the middle of wider roads where there is no crossing point. They provide pedestrians with a safer area to wait in the middle so that they can cross the road one half at a time.

Other safer places to cross, when the road is too busy and dangerous, are footbridges which pedestrians can use to go over the road, above the cars, and subways which take pedestrians under the road.

Drivers, remember:

  • You must not park on a crossing or in the area covered by the zig-zag lines.
  • You must not overtake the moving vehicle nearest the crossing or the vehicle nearest the crossing which has stopped to give way to pedestrians

People to Help You Cross Safely

People who are allowed by law to stop the traffic are School Crossing Patrols, Traffic Wardens and Police Officers. If you need assistance in crossing busy roads and if they are available then they can stop the traffic and signal for you to cross. Always cross in front and not behind them, so they can be sure that you get across the road safely.