Pedestrian and cycle crossings

How to report a problem with a pedestrian crossing, and the different types.

You can report a broken light at a pedestrian crossing, as well as other street problems, through our online reporting tool Fixmystreet.

Type of crossing

Zebra crossings

These provide suitable crossing points where pedestrian flows are light and vehicle speeds low. Good visibility is essential. There is a risk that pedestrians feel they have absolute priority whereas some drivers may not observe zebra crossings in the same way that they would comply with traffic lights.

Pelican crossings

These are pedestrian crossings controlled by traffic lights and have the well understood 'green man' to indicate that it is safe to cross. They are considerably more expensive than zebra crossings but incorporate features for people with visual impairments and hearing problems. Cyclists may not use pelican crossings without dismounting.

Toucan crossings

These allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross and include extra detectors for cyclists and pedestrians as well as an additional signal for cyclists.

Puffin crossings

Like pelican crossings, but they have special detectors for pedestrians and have modified crossing indicator lights which are mounted near to the push button unit so that pedestrians can watch the crossing indicator lights and approaching traffic at the same time.

Requesting a new crossing

If you would like to suggest a new crossing, contact either your local town or parish council, or your Area Operations team through the Highway Enquiries Team.

Once a new crossing request has been received, an Engineer will visit the site and make an initial assessment. This may include a quick subjective evaluation of pedestrian and cycle flows, traffic flows and mean speeds, pre-existing casualty statistics for pedestrians and cyclists and the proximity of community facilities such as schools, shops, bus stop etc.

If the initial assessment does not meet the criteria necessary for a crossing to be provided you will be advised and the matter will be taken no further.


A central island or refuge is much cheaper to build than a pelican crossing and costs less to maintain. However, the road needs to be wide enough (minimum 8.5m) for a central island or refuge to be built which can accommodate a pram, wheelchair or cycle.

A central refuge can also be a solution where a Pelican Crossing is ruled out because traffic levels are too low or there is no history of accidents. Central refuge islands can have the advantage of "calming" traffic but are more difficult to negotiate for elderly people, disabled people and people with visual impairments