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Thursday, 19 April 2012

Pedestrians Crossing! Brixton style, Brighton style

Once a month - for many years now - I drive to London and that involves Brixton High Street.

In front of the Underground station the road is a dual carriageway and until a couple of years ago a barrier ran down the middle to prevent pedestrians crossing except at approved points.

Unfortunately, Brixton is home to lots of young, fit men and they simply leapt the barriers. As you would. I am sure it made those older and less fit very conscious of their deficiencies as they stood at their approved crossing points waiting for the lights to change.

Then Transport for London did something unusually imaginative. It removed all the barriers down the middle of the dual carriageway. Now everyone, fit and unfit, young and old, can cross where they please when they are heading to or from the Underground.

As a result, motorists have to be more cautious since people are always stepping into the road. As a traffic calming measure, taking out the barriers has been a great success.

For a hundred and fifty years, people have been catching the train from London and heading down for a day out in Brighton. From Brighton station, they stream down Queen's Road, down West Street (Skid Row) and straight across the dual carriageway known as King's Road. Thus do they arrive at the beach, often ignoring the attempts to corrall them towards approved crossing points (including a Tunnel best avoided).

Recently, our new Green council started to fret about this situation. They started to worry about the pedestrians who for generations have crossed that dual carriageway, dodging between the cars and the charabancs.

The Council has found a solution. There is Always Money for Road Signs (see my Blog of 9 April 2011)so now we have even more along the King's Road dual carriageway. They flash urgently at motorists announcing "Pedestrians Crossing!" as if, after 150 years, it is some new discovery.

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