Smart Transport

‘Pedestrian priority' signals at London crossings

New signals are to be introduced at London road crossings to prioritise pedestrians.

18 new ‘Green Person Authority’ traffic signals are being introduced across London, by Transport for London (TfL), which are configured to show a green signal to pedestrians continuously.

The signals show this green light until a vehicle is detected.

They have been put in place at seven locations in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hounslow, Richmond and Hillingdon and will be installed at a further 11 locations by the end of June.

TfL said the new signals aim to make it ‘easier’ for people to cross the road, and ‘enabling more journeys on foot’.

Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said: “Walking has so many benefits – it doesn’t just enable us to get from A to B, but also improves our mental and physical health.

“We know that safety is a key concern for people walking around London and giving pedestrians priority is a powerful way of putting them first and making it easier to cross London’s roads.

“By combining this with creating extra pavement space and ensuring roadworks are carried out in a way that doesn’t disrupt Londoners, we will make our city the world’s most walkable and eradicate collisions on our streets.”

The impact of the pandemic on walking

The announcement follows as TfL data shows an increase in the number of journeys made on foot throughout the coronavirus pandemic, increasing from 35% to almost 50%.

31% of Londoners said they are walking to places where they used to travel by a different mode, and 57% said they go on more walks for exercise or walk for longer than they did before, according to the research.

Almost half (47%) of respondents to a Greater Manchester Covid-19 recovery survey want to keep walking and cycling more often, when the post-pandemic. 

TfL said several factors have influenced the signal locations, including high pedestrian flow, proximity to pedestrian destinations such as shopping centres, stations and schools, and suitability of existing technology.

Nick Owen, TfL’s head of network performance, said: “We’re determined to make it easier for people to cross the road and to give people the space they need to walk safely, and these initiatives will make a difference in enabling more people to access local high streets, shops and other businesses in a sustainable way.”

Lane rental scheme

TfL has also recently extended its lane rental scheme to charge for roadworks on 20 of the capital’s footways.

It has introduced a charge of £350 per day for works that impact on the busiest areas of pavement in the capital, to help minimise disruption to people walking.

The lane rental scheme allows TfL to charge utility companies and infrastructure providers a daily fee for digging up the busiest sections of London's roads at the busiest times, to encourage companies to plan their works outside of the most sensitive times.

All money raised from the scheme is reinvested in initiatives and innovations designed to reduce the congestion and disruption caused by roadworks across the capital, said TfL.

TfL said it continues to identify new locations where ‘Green Person Authority’ crossings can be introduced, with the aim of increasing its number over the coming years.

Where 'green person authority' will be installed by the end of June:

  • London Road by James Street – Barking and Dagenham
  • Gale Street by Becontree Station – Barking and Dagenham
  • Bishopsgate by Great St Helens – City of London
  • Long Lane by West Smithfield – City of London
  • Woodcote Grove Road by Smitham Downs Road – Croydon
  • Kingston Road by Rothesay Avenue – Merton
  • Red Lion Street by Church Terrace – Richmond Upon Thames
  • St Georges Way by Ebley Close – Southwark
  • Wrythe Lane by Muschamp Road – Sutton
  • Green Wrythe Lane by Aultone Way – Sutton
  • Cavendish Square by Henrietta Place – Westminster

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry. Watch his presentation below:


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  • John - 03/06/2021 12:00

    My experience of London traffic is that pedestrians come last, after motorized vehicles and bicycles, all of which regularly ignore pedestrian crossings and other such "priority" arrangements. This will only work if offenders are identified and banned from driving for a month, so they have to get around on their own two feet.

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