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Recent Puffin crossing upgrade has reduced safety

Reported anonymously at 20:30, Tuesday 29 January 2019

The Puffin pedestrian crossing on Abbey Road, between the Westbourne Crescent and Jesmond Avenue junctions has recently been upgraded. Since the upgrade, the amount of time a pedestrian has to wait for the lights to stop the traffic has dramatically increased. During busy traffic periods it is common to wait upwards of five minutes for the "Green man" to illuminate. There are pir sensors which scan for traffic, and the stop sequence is inhibited until NO cars are detected by the sensor (a red light can be seen on the pole mounted sensor as it detects vehicles coming towards it). In the case of traffic travelling "out" of town a long line of cars completely inhibit the lights changing. This is made worse by the recent changes at the Abbey road/Park Drive traffic lights which now have a "right filter" signal which allows cars to filter onto Park Drive BUT ALSO allows the cars to travel straight-on through the lights along Abbey Road . This leads to a VERY LONG line of traffic approaching the puffin crossing. By the time any "stragglers" (slow moving vehicles) are reaching the Puffin crossing, they are directly followed (with no gap) by cars which have exited from Park Drive or Cheltenham Street and "caught them up". This extended line of cars prevents the Puffin crossing lights from changing. The situation with cars coming "into town" from the opposite direction is not as bad as the cars are not usually bunched together. I'm no expert in the working of pedestrian crossings, but surely there must be some kind of "time out" setting which FORCES the traffic to stop after a preset time regardless of how much traffic is present? In which case, the value is set far too high in this instance. The crossing is a good idea on this very busy road, BUT the current setup is dangerous.....Pedestrians become frustrated after waiting for a long period and the lights STILL haven't stopped the traffic. The temptation to cross on the "red man" is there.....particularly for children who can be naturally impatient. I would be grateful if this issue could be looked at



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