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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number: FHWA-RD-99-089
Date: December 1999

Research, Development, and Implementation of Pedestrian Safety Facilities in the United Kingdom



Creating improved safety and access for pedestrians requires providing safe places for people to walk, as well as implementing traffic control and design measures which allow for safer street crossings. A study entitled "Evaluation of Pedestrian Facilities" involved evaluating various types of pedestrian facilities and traffic control devices, including pedestrian crossing signs, marked versus unmarked crosswalks, countdown pedestrian signals, illuminated pushbuttons, automatic pedestrian detectors, and traffic calming devices such as curb extensions and raised crosswalks. The study provided recommendations for adding sidewalks to new and existing streets and for using marked crosswalks for uncontrolled locations. The "Evaluation of Pedestrian Facilities" also included synthesis reports of both domestic and international pedestrian safety research. There are five international pedestrian safety synthesis reports; this document compiles the most relevant research from the United Kingdom.

This synthesis report should be of interest to State and local pedestrian and bicycle coordinators, transportation engineers, planners, and researchers involved in the safety and design of pedestrian facilities within the highway environment.

Michael F. Trentacoste
Michael F. Trentacoste
Director, Office of Safety
Research and Development


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1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Research, Development, and Implementation of Pedestrian Safety Facilities in the United Kingdom

5. Report Date
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)

David G. Davies

8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address

David G. Davies Associates
6 Hillside Road
Norwich NR7 0QG
United Kingdom

University of North Carolina
Highway Safety Research Center
730 Airport Rd, CB #3430
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3430

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Federal Highway Administration
Turner–Fairbank Highway Research Center
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, Virginia 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes

Prime Contractor: University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center
FHWA COTR: Carol Tan Esse

16. Abstract

This report was one in a series of pedestrian safety synthesis reports prepared for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to document pedestrian safety in other countries. Reports are also available for:

Canada (FHWA–RD–99–090)
Sweden (FHWA–RD–99–091)
Netherlands (FHWA–RD–99–092)
Australia (FHWA–RD–99–093)

This is a review of recent research on pedestrian safety carried out in the United Kingdom. A comprehensive list of references is provided. The report covers many types of pedestrian facilities, the UK pedestrian safety record, as well as some education and enforcement matters. The report cites an access document with adequate references to allow further investigation of specific areas, and some commentary on research and implementation.

The past 5 years have seen increased attention given to road safety issues in the UK. Developments of particular relevance to pedestrians include greater emphasis on reducing vehicle speeds in urban areas through physical, legal, and publicity measures: also development of Puffin crossings and new operating strategies such as MOVA. However, while specific facilities can affect safety at individual sites, improvements in overall safety for pedestrians requires a comprehensive road safety strategy that is fully integrated with land use and transport policy.

17. Key Words

pedestrians, pelican crossing, zebra crossing, puffin crossing, traffic calming, tactile pavement surfaces

18. Distribution Statement
19. Security Classification (of this report)


20. Security Classification (of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized

SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors

*SI is the symbol for the International System of Units. Appropriate (Revised September 1993) rounding should be made to comply with Section 4 of ASTM E380.


1. Introduction

2. Pedestrian Safety in the United Kingdom

3. Overview of Accident Countermeasures and Safety Programs

4. Overview of Pedestrian Facilities

5. Pedestrian Crossings without Signal Control (Crosswalks)

6. Pedestrian Crossings with Signal Control

7. Footways

8. Traffic Calming, Speed Reduction, and Pedestrians

9. School Zone Safety

10. Education

11. Enforcement

12. Conclusions

13. References

14. Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations


United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration