Pedestrian crossings

We provide pedestrian crossings at road junctions and busy crossing points to protect pedestrians and help them cross the road easily.

We can only install a pedestrian crossing at sites that meet the national assessment criteria, which take into account the following factors:

  • traffic speed
  • how difficult it is for pedestrians to cross the road
  • the number and nature of personal injury accidents, particularly those involving pedestrians
  • the volume of traffic throughout a given day compared to the number of pedestrians crossing the road within a specific area – frequency of use
  • site conditions/nature of the road and constraints
  • funding and available resources

You can read more about the requirements for installing a pedestrian crossing in the Local Transport Note on The Design of Pedestrian Crossings.

Types of crossing

Crossing What they are
Zebra Zebra crossings are easily recognisable because of the black and white lines that go across the width of the road.
Pelican Pelican crossings have zig-zag lines and traffic lights. Pelican crossings are controlled by the pedestrian pressing the button on the WAIT box.

They can be in a straight line or staggered. A pelican crossings that goes straight across the road should be treated as one crossing, even if it has a central island. Staggered crossings (not in line) should be treated as separate crossings.
Puffin (pedestrian user friendly intelligent crossings)
These pedestrian crossings look very similar to pelican crossings, but have sensors on top of the traffic lights. These sensors detect if pedestrians are crossing slowly and can hold the red traffic light longer if needed.
Toucan Toucan crossings are also similar to pelican crossings, but they allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross
Pegasus  Similar to toucan crossings, but these allow horse riders to cross too. Pegasus crossings incorporate a second crossing place, with segregated approaches and separate light controls, alongside the cyclist and/or pedestrian crossing. Usually used outside race courses or areas where horses are trained.
Traffic island Where a pedestrian crossing can't be justified, a pedestrian refuge, or traffic island, may be placed. These narrow the road and allow pedestrians to cross in two halves with a safe place to wait in the middle. Pedestrians should cross with care as drivers have priority at traffic islands.

You'll find an explanation of how to use pedestrian crossings in the Highway Code.