Lighting - traffic lights
Traffic lights are used at road junctions and pedestrian crossings for a variety of reasons including:
- the safe and efficient control of traffic
- accident reduction measures
- providing facilities for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists
- to give priority for public transport and emergency services.
How do you decide where a pedestrian crossing goes?
We receive many requests each year for new traffic lights and crossings. To help use resources to best effect, the site of each request is surveyed and the results compared with national criteria to identify the most needy locations. The main factors measured are the number of people crossing and the amount of traffic using the road. Other factors we consider include:
- the number of injuries resulting from accidents on the road near the site
- local features such as hospitals, schools and shops.
We then draw up a list in order of priority with the worst site for pedestrians at the top of the list.
What types of pedestrian crossings are used in Derby?
As well as traffic lights at road junctions we have various types of pedestrian crossing (both with and without traffic lights) in Derby. These are:
In some locations, where a pedestrian crossing cannot be justified, a pedestrian refuge (traffic island) may be placed. These narrow the road and allow pedestrians to cross in two halves with a safe place to wait in the middle. Pedestrians should cross with care as drivers have priority at traffic islands.
Zebra crossings have black and white stripes (like a zebra) across the road with orange flashing beacons at each end. A zebra crossing gives the pedestrian right of way once their foot is on the crossing. However, pedestrians must make sure that all the traffic has stopped before crossing and they should keep looking and listening as they cross. Research has shown that in some situations the safety record of both zebra and traffic light controlled crossings can be very similar and that, in some cases, zebras can be safer.
Pelican crossings - 'pedestrian light-controlled' crossing
Pelican crossings are controlled by the pedestrian pressing the button on the WAIT box. Pedestrians should only cross when the 'green man' signal on the far side of the road lights up and all the traffic has stopped. Sometimes there is a bleeper to help blind or partially sighted people know when it is safe to cross. There may also be a rotating knob underneath the WAIT box, which turns when the green man lights up. Pedestrians should not start to cross if the green man signal is flashing.
We no longer install pelican crossings in Derby and existing pelican crossings are being gradually replaced by the newer puffin crossings which provide better facilities for pedestrians.
Puffin crossings - 'pedestrian user-friendly intelligent' crossing
Puffin crossings look very similar to, and are an updated version of the pelican crossing.
One of the main differences is that the red and green man signals are just above the push button WAIT box on the same side as the pedestrian using the crossing and not on the other side of the road.
Pedestrians should press the button on the box and look at the red and green man signal above it. Pedestrians should only cross when the green man on the signal lights up and all the traffic has stopped.
Puffin crossings have special sensors which can detect a pedestrian on the crossing and make sure that traffic remains stopped until all the pedestrians have crossed the road. Puffin crossings will have a rotating cone underneath the right-hand push button WAIT box and may also have a bleeper to help blind or partially sighted people to know when it is safe to cross. Puffins do not have a flashing green man signal for pedestrian, nor flashing amber lights. Drivers must wait for a green light before moving.
For further information, download the Department of Transport - How to use a puffin crossing leaflet.
Toucan crossings - 'two-can' cross
Toucan crossings allow both pedestrians and cyclists to use the crossing at the same time, usually at sites where cycle routes cross busy roads.
They are similar to a puffin crossing with the crossing operated by a push button on the WAIT box. On a toucan there is a green and red cycle as well as the red and green man on the signal above the WAIT box. The main advantage for cyclists is that they do not have to dismount to use the crossing.
Like puffins, toucan crossings have sensors to detect pedestrians and cyclists using the crossing and there is no flashing green man signal, nor flashing amber signal. Drivers must wait for a green light before moving.
For safety and the efficient control of traffic it may be necessary for pedestrian crossings on wider roads to be split in to two halves which are staggered and each half acts as a separate crossing. These 'dual' crossings will have the same facilities as 'single' puffin, toucan or pelican crossings including rotating cones, but will not have any 'bleepers' as these may be heard by people using the other half of the crossing.
Who looks after the city's traffic lights and pedestrian crossings?
Our Network Management Group operates, maintains and develops the city's traffic control equipment including permanent traffic lights at road junctions and pedestrian crossings.
To report a fault at permanent traffic lights
You can report faults at permanent traffic lights, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by telephoning 01332 641765.
To report a fault with a zebra crossing or refuge (traffic island) beacon
You should report faults at zebra crossings or refuge beacons to Derby Direct online or by telephoning 0333 200 6981.
Enquiries about permanent traffic lights
If you have a general enquiry about permanent traffic lights in Derby, you can contact us online or write to Streetpride at Derby City Council, Council House, Corporation Street, Derby, DE1 2FS.
To request a new pedestrian crossing
To request a new pedestrian crossing residents should contact their local ward councillor or attend their local Neighbourhood Forum.
Temporary traffic lights
Temporary traffic lights at road works are the responsibility of the organisation carrying out the work such as gas, electricity, water or building contractor.
Faults at temporary traffic lights at road works
Faults at temporary traffic lights should be reported to the organisation carrying out the works using the telephone number displayed at the road works.