Our St Albans North county councillor Helen Campbell is calling for parents whose children attend schools near the Ancient Briton junction to discuss pedestrian safety with their children, after witnessing many fail to correctly use the new puffin crossings.
Over the summer, work took place to update the junction to a puffin crossing. These use intelligent technology to detect how many people are waiting to cross, which determines how long cars are stopped for.
Parents from of pupils at STAGS and Garden Fields have been contacting Helen since the beginning of the school year to express concerns about the junction and crossing safety, with some saying that that not enough time is allowed for crossing. Helen met with highway engineers onsite to address these issues.
However, Helen’s observed that a huge number of people simply aren’t pressing the button and waiting for the green man to appear before crossing.
She also approached the county council's Active and Safer Travel team to ask them to help. Last Thursday saw three officers from this team join Helen at the junction, where they talked to pedestrians at the junction and encouraged them to use the crossings correctly.
“A significant number of people – both school pupils and parents – aren’t using the buttons, and many are taking chances with a diagonal crossing route,” said Helen.
“Sadly it even seems to have become a sort of competition amongst pupils to ignore the crossing buttons completely and run the crossings on a red man as a sort of dare. It’s terrifying to watch.
“The Active and Safer Travel officers do brilliant work to engage with schools about their travel plans but there is a fundamental behavioural element to this which means children, teenagers AND parents with toddlers and buggies are putting themselves at risk.
“Parents – please take a minute to talk to your children about the important of road safety and personal responsibility so we can avoid harm coming to anyone at this busy junction.”