Millions of older and disabled people across the UK stand to benefit from more time to cross at traffic lights, thanks to new government guidance.
Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking has campaigned for longer crossing times since 2014. Currently the time the ‘green man’ spends flashing (the clearance time) is based on an assumed universal walking speed of 1.2 metres per second – this was calculated in the 1950s and hasn’t changed since.
A study by researchers at University College London (2012) showed that most older adults in the UK can’t walk fast enough to use pedestrian crossings safely. After looking at Health Survey for England (2005) data, the team found that for over 65s the average walking speed was 0.9 m/s for men and 0.8 m/s for women. Furthermore, 84 per cent of men and 93 per cent of women over 65 had a walking impairment.