Old Kent Road Pedestrian Crossing at Ilderton Road

Plenary on 2006-03-15
Session date: 
March 15, 2006
Question By: 
Valerie Shawcross
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
Peter Hendy (Commissioner, Transport for London)


Following complaints from parents from Pilgrims Way Primary School, I recently visited a pedestrian crossing on the Old Kent Road near the junction with Ilderton Road.

For the crossing of westbound carriageway of the Old Kent Road the green man was on for just 6.5secs. I found it was impossible to cross the two lanes of carriageway before the green man went out and it is even more difficult for the elderly, disabled and parents with small children to cross within the time allowed.

Why is the pedestrian phase so short on this crossing? Will TfL to upgrade the crossing and extend the pedestrian phase?


Answer for Old Kent Road Pedestrian Crossing at Ilderton Road

Answer for Old Kent Road Pedestrian Crossing at Ilderton Road

Answered By: 
Peter Hendy (Commissioner, Transport for London)

The procedure used to calculate traffic signal timings is defined by the Department for Transport (DfT) and used throughout the UK. Signal timings are determined on the basis of a pedestrian crossing the road relatively slowly, at 1.2 metres per second.

Pedestrians frequently and incorrectly believe that they only have the green-man period in which to get from one side of the road to the other. There are a number of phases during which traffic will be held at a crossing, so pedestrians are given much longer to cross than solely the length of time during which the green man signal is displayed. For example there is firstly a 5 second `invitation' period, in which pedestrians are invited to begin to cross by the green man, followed by a `black out' period in which the green man signal is not displayed but during which traffic is still held stationary. Further time is then allowed for pedestrians to complete the crossing.

In this case, the crossing is 9.96m wide. Taking the DfT average crossing speed as a guide, a pedestrian would require 8.3 seconds to cross. Adding together the `invitation', `black out' and further periods in which traffic is held stationary; a total of 16 seconds is available for pedestrians to use the crossing, 11 seconds after the extinguishing of the green man `invitation' light. Thus there should be a sufficient amount of time to cross before the traffic is given the green light to move.

Thus there would seem to be sufficient time to cross. Nevertheless we will review this location and contact you with our findings.