On your marks!

Not very impressed with Boris’ latest wheeze.

He’s reducing the pedestrian time at crossings, and proposing to console us with a countdown telling us how long we have left.
First it’s postmen having to trot around London, and now it’s the rest of us.

There are already pedestrian crossings in Islington where you have barely 5 seconds to get across the road.

I’m not against countdowns at crossings. They’re used in central Amsterdam at busy pedestrian crossings, where there are also trams and cyclists in transit. But in Amsterdam the countdown is on the red phase, telling pedestrians how long they have to wait, a bit like countdown at bus stops. Altogether more pedestrian-friendly than a countdown on green, telling you you’ve run out of time to cross. Surely that’s what the flashing green sign is for anyway?

It’s obviously a while since Boris got off his bike and walked about. What happens when the countdown gets to zero and you are still wheeling your shopping trolley or pushchair across?

I know the Olympics are coming, but this is ridiculous.


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