A study by University College London has showed that over three quarters of older people (those 65 and over) don’t meet the 1.2 metres per second allowance, with the average walking speed for elderly people being around 0.8 metres per second.
The current guidance has remained the same since the 1950s, and it is time the Government looked into giving people more adequate provision to cross roads safely, and thereby allowing getting about at any age to be as easy and safe as possible.
Natascha Engel: What assessment he has made of the adequacy of the amount of time allowed for pedestrians to use pedestrian crossings.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport: Local councils are responsible for setting pedestrian crossing timings with reference to the guidance walking speed of 1.2 metres per second. The Department is conducting a review of traffic signing legislation, and once that is complete will consider the need to update the guidance.
Natascha Engel: Having rushed across many roads to get here in time for this question, I thank the Minister for his answer. Will he carry out that review as quickly as possible? The legislation has not been looked at since the 1950s and a recent review suggested that three quarters of elderly people struggle to cross the road before the signals change. Will he please look into the matter urgently?
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport: I certainly will. We are reviewing the situation. The green man is an invitation to cross. When the green man is extinguished, there is still time to cross. The updated puffin crossings have movement detectors, which allow extra time to be given. We are looking at other types of crossing as well, which will further improve the situation.
I hope the Government can work alongside local councils to review this policy, and make the necessary changes.
Please do get in touch with me about this issue, it is something I really want to get peoples views on, so email or write to me with your thoughts. Please include your address on your emails or letters so we can get back to you.
Watch the questions here
Read more about the campaign here
See the University College London Report here