Pelican and Puffin Crossings
Karen Buck (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport; Regent's Park and Kensington North, Labour)
Pelican crossings were introduced in 1969. We have no recent studies of their effectiveness but studies into the effects of converting a zebra to a pelican crossing, comparisons of pedestrian crossings, and the comparative safety of pedestrian crossings were conducted in the years following their introduction. Reports are available from TRL Limited (formerly the Transport Research Laboratory).
Research carried out by the Transport and Research Laboratory for my Department in 1992 following the introduction of new puffin crossing estimated an average net benefit of approximately £10,000 per site per annum through reduced vehicle delays, giving an overall benefit across the country of about £50 million, if installations were to take place at all sites.
The Highways Agency commissioned work from the London Accident Analysis Unit in 1996 to carry out a comparative accident study at five pelican crossing conversions to puffins. The investigations found that puffin was no worse than a pelican crossing but in some cases it was better in terms of accidents involving pedestrians.
Further research has been commissioned by the Department for Transport to examine the effectiveness of puffin crossings at six sites and the effect of the new crossing on pedestrian and driver behaviour. This work will conclude by the end of this year.