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Horsham's Puffin problem solved

We have heard a lot of complaints about pedestrians having trouble crossing Albion Way at the recently modified junction with Bishopric. A particular problem seems to be people becoming marooned in the centre of the crossing and being unclear when it is safe to cross. After looking into the issue it seems the problem lies with us pedestrians rather than the lights.

The new crossing is a Puffin which will be new to many people although there is already one in North Parade which seems to cause no problem. The Puffin is a very clever crossing with the pedestrian red and green man signals mounted on the poles where pedestrians wait to cross. Mounted on the same poles are detectors which can sense the presence of someone waiting to cross. In order to cross the road safely it is necessary to press the call button and stay on the kerb beside it. If you walk away, or cross the road without waiting for the green man, the Puffin will cancel your request and keep the traffic flowing.

However, and this is the really clever part, if you have patience and wait for the green man to light on the pole beside you when it goes green you can safely cross right to the other side. Don't worry if you are a little slow on your pins because your presence on the crossing will be detected and the safe period extended until you get to the other side.

But this only works if you play your part. If you attempt to cross when there is a red man showing on your pole you will be on your own, and may well get marooned in the centre, or worse. Patience is the key to a safe crossing. We are not very good in this country at obeying traffic signals, whereas in some jaywalking is an offence.

John Steele

Articles from WSCT

Dec 2005 revisited
Nov planning letters

HDPF update

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