Pedestrian crossings for blind and visually impaired people

MQT on 2013-01-30
Session date: 
January 30, 2013
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


In response to a recent inquiry through the Transport for London's casework system I was informed that by the spring of 2016 TfL hope to have upgraded the remaining signalised crossings in London to include rotating cones and/or audible signals. As the provision of such facilities was first advocated in Department of Transport guidance published in April 1995 (Local Transport Note 2/95 The Design of Pedestrian Crossings ) do you consider it acceptable that it will potentially take TfL 21 years to meet national safety guidance for access to pedestrian crossings for blind and visually impaired people.


Answer for Pedestrian crossings for blind and visually impaired people

Answer for Pedestrian crossings for blind and visually impaired people

Answered By: 
The Mayor

TfL is responsible for an asset base of over 6,000 traffic signals throughout London. All new signals installed on the network since the change in DfT guidance adhere to the latest standards. Where signals already exist, they are brought up to the latest standards as part of TfL's signal modernisation programme.

TfL strives to upgrade these signals at the best value for London's taxpayers. It is more cost-effective and efficient to deliver these upgrades as part of London's signals modernisation programme than to deliver them in a shorter timescale. This asset investment programme takes into account a number of factors, including the age of the asset, facilities provided (such as tactile or audible signals), obsolescence of hardware and strategic importance to the network.

Currently, 94.5 per cent of traffic signal sites with pedestrian crossings have facilities for blind and visually impaired pedestrians. In the next financial year (13/14), TfL will upgrade at least 63 sites, bringing this figure to 96 per cent.

Where a specific need for facilities for blind and partially sighted people at traffic signals is highlighted by its customers, TfL will take action. Two recent cases where TfL has installed audible or tactile facilities at traffic signals after receiving customer requests include Kew Bridge and Queens Road in Bexley. At Kew Bridge TfL implemented a non-standard design at a junction to meet the needs of the nearby Thomas Pocklington Trust, which supports blind and visually impaired people, and at Queens Road in Bexley, a customer query from Inspire Community Trust (a charity for people with disabilities) highlighted the need for facilities.