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England Travel Tips 
Discover the Real England   



  By Mike Valeriani
Regions: N West N East Yorkshire W Midlands E Midlands East S West S East

Pedestrian Crossings in England


Sign on Puffin crossingWhy keep something simple when you can make it effortlessly more complicated? Most parts of the world have pedestrian crossings which are commonly known as Zebra Crossings.

The well known British love for animals (and birds in particular) drove them to divide pedestrian crossings into: Zebra Crossing, Pelican Crossing, Toucan Crossing, Puffin Crossing and Pegasus Crossing.

Tucan crossing traffic light poleThey all lead essentially to the same objective, but with subtle variations that only the acute observer can fully appreciate. The trouble is that you are required to be this acute to pass your driving test.

One of these crossing gave enough trouble and therefore reasons, to the city of Brighton to install a sign teaching people how to cross the road.

The sign was placed right in the middle of a roundabout, where you had to use the crossing before you could read it; unless of course, you were born, raised and never left that roundabout in your entire life. But I am sure they had a perfectly logic reason for doing such a thing.

The Puffin crossing is a novelty in town. This crossing no longer uses the world wide well tested green man across the street to tell you that it's safe to cross.

So now when you are waiting to cross, looking across the street will give you absolutely no clue if it’s red or green for you, as the traditional green man has gone for a long walk.  There is absolutely nothing telling you to either wait or cross and you have the clear impression that there is no pedestrian crossing installed at all, as it often happens in this country (more on this later). Puffin crossing instruction signInstead the green man appears on two different devices mounted on a pole on the pavement, where nobody looks, because everyone - obviously - looks across the street: one device is positioned very low, for children it would seem and one way too high for a normal height person... it makes you wonder if it has been designed with horses in mind and "YES" they are all like this.

Back to the actual absence of crossings. This happens often in this country and mostly at very busy crossings, like the one in London to cross Sloane Street right at Knightsbridge.

Basically the city’s officials do not want to take responsibility for a certain busy crossing, so they decide to eliminate the crossing altogether. At that location  people will cross the street anyway, but theoretically they shouldn't, so if they end up being killed, the City is covered, as in theory it bears no responsibility. Go explain this to the family of that tourist killed while crossing the road where hundreds of people cross everyday.











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