Traffic Lights at Marble Arch

Meeting: 
MQT on 2017-11-16
Session date: 
November 16, 2017
Reference: 
2017/4381
Question By: 
David Kurten
Organisation: 
UKIP
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

In Question 2017/3471, I asked why 'the phasing of the traffic lights both before and behind Marble Arch are set on such a short 'green man' phase.' Your response was: 'The signals have a 'green man' period of six seconds, followed by a safety 'blackout' period to allow pedestrians to clear the crossing.' I note that your reply carefully omits to explain what the 'safety blackout' period is. Notwithstanding, both these roads (the A4202 and the A40) consist of five lanes of traffic at Marble Arch. No reasonable person would expect a pedestrian to cross a five-lane road in a record-breaking six seconds - never mind if they were elderly, disabled, laden with shopping, or pushing a pram.

I would draw your attention to the work in this field undertaken by public health expert Dr Laura Asher at University College, London, which was published in the journal Age and Ageing in 2012. It found that for those over the age of 65, 76% of men and 85% of women have a walking speed slower than that needed to use a pedestrian crossing (the highly unrealistic walking speed laid down by the Department for Transport is 1.2 metres (4 feet) per second). (https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article/41/5/690/47318/Most-older-pedestrians-are-unable-to-cross-the) Dr Asher's study concluded: If older people are inhibited from walking, their access to amenities will be reduced, and risks of physical inactivity and social isolation will be increased, with attendant implications for healthy ageing. 

Could I therefore ask you to re-consider the phasing of these two sets of traffic lights?

Answer

Answer for Traffic Lights at Marble Arch

Answer for Traffic Lights at Marble Arch

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The use of hands free phones or satellite navigation systems in cradles is not prohibited in law. These devices are used by licensed taxi and private hire drivers and are also used widely by freight and logistics operators and members of the public.

It is the duty of the driver to use any mobile/electronic device, and associated app, responsibly and in compliance with the Highway Code and associated road traffic legislation. Any misuse of such devices would be regarded as driving without due care and attention.

TfL and the police will take appropriate steps where this is found to be the case.

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