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Making a difference
Case Study

Traffic light timings successfully changed

THE NEED         

Local residents noticed that the timings on the pedestrian crossing going across the road from an older persons’ housing estate to a local health centre at the junction of Crompton Way and Green Way in Bolton was not giving enough ‘green man’ time for people to get over safely.  Older residents of the area spoke of having to order a taxi to take them to an appointment a few yards away, just to avoid using the crossing as they had become so nervous.



AFA Bolton invited representatives from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to try out the crossing with them in person and in the company of some older local residents. It soon became apparent that the lights were changing to let the traffic through before everyone reached the other side. As a result, TfGM added additional time to the three traffic crossings around the health centre so all residents can now cross the road in safety.



People are now using the crossing all the time as it offers a quicker and a more direct and convenient way of getting to the health centre. Older people, in particular, are not as scared of going over the road via the crossing, and generally feel more encouraged and supported in the community.


[Note: Department of Health findings indicate that the average walking speed demanded by pedestrian crossings is 1.2 metres a second, while the average speed of the older pedestrian is just 0.7 to 0.9 metres per second]



Inviting representatives from Transport for Greater Manchester was what made all the difference in the world to ensuring remedial action was taken.  It became apparent that nothing beats personal experience when it comes to assessing a situation for limitations and dangers. By actively including the TfGM staff, the case for change was presented quickly and unambiguously - and resulted in the necessary adjustments to the traffic light sequences in question.



Now that this precedent has been successfully set, similar requests have been filed with TfGM regarding re-calibrating green man sequences around the wider area.