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Should pedestrians have longer to cross the road?

18th September 2017

Getting out and about for people who struggle with limited mobility can be a challenge, especially if they rely on special facilities such as indoor stairlifts. One of the biggest problems can be navigating the high street and while measures are in place to ensure shops are accessible, this is not the case for many other obstacles.


One area where people feel especially pressured can be when crossing the road. Extending the time that pedestrians have to safely navigate roads could not only improve the user’s experience but could also divert dangerous situations.


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a draft guideline document that urges local councils to consider extending the time the green man is visible. It is hoped that this extra time will encourage older adults and those with limited mobility to stay active. 


Professor Mark Baker, the director of the centre for guidelines at NICE has said:


“It should not matter whether you are on foot, in a wheelchair, have a visual impairment or if you’re a parent pushing a pram. If streets, parks and other open spaces are well planned, everyone should be able to get around their local area easily. Safe, accessible streets and well-maintained parks can help people to get active and live longer healthier lives.”


The current time lapse for the green man is between four and nine seconds and is dependent on the width of the road. It is hoped that if this time is increased, those who may be slower will be able to cross the road more safely. Though The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence do not give a suggested time for pedestrians to cross, extending the duration of the green man to take into account the width of the road with a slower pace could make town centres much more accessible for everyone. 


Image Credit: JEShoots

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.