By Marcus Leach
Pedestrians across London will have a clearer idea of how long they have left to safely cross the road from summer 2012 as new Pedestrian Countdown technology is rolled out across the Capital, Transport for London (TfL) have announced.
The roll-out, which will see the technology installed at around a further 200 locations across the Capital, comes after the technology received approval from the Department for Transport and the Highways Agency, following a successful trial in London.
Pedestrian Countdown reduces confusion and uncertainty for pedestrians by displaying how long they have left to cross the road when the green man goes out.
The digital displays count down the time between the green man symbol going out and the red man appearing.
This helps make it clear to pedestrians how much time they have left to cross the road safely.
By replacing the blackout period with a numerical counter, pedestrians are able to better judge whether they have enough time to cross the road reducing uncertainty and helps them to make more informed choices.
Independent research commissioned by TfL in 2009 demonstrated that around two thirds of pedestrians do not understand the black-out period (when nothing is displayed to pedestrians) between the green man going out and the red man being displayed at a crossing.
This led to TfL trialling the technology at eight locations across London in June 2010.
Research from the trial showed that a majority of pedestrians surveyed about the trial (83 per cent) liked the Pedestrian Countdown technology in the 'after' study.
The technology was also liked by 94 per cent of mobility impaired users and 79 per cent of children, who experienced traffic crossings with and without the system.
Crucially, the study showed that there were no negative impacts on safety during the trial.
Contracts have now been awarded to two companies to supply the equipment and work to install the technology will begin in summer 2012, with all sites expected to be delivered by the end of 2014.
TfL is also in discussions with local boroughs to establish their interest in potentially rolling this technology out at locations along borough roads.
"Having these timers has proved popular in the areas where they were trialled and I am very pleased we are making this investment in further improvements to our transport infrastructure," the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said.
"The countdown is a simple idea with huge benefits not least ensuring we get the best out of our roads by easing traffic flow and ensuring pedestrians are safer."
Join us on