First ‘parallel crossing’ launches in Essex

Essex’s first cyclist ‘parallel crossing’ has become operational in Chester Hall Lane, Basildon, with a second currently under construction in Victoria Road South, Chelmsford.

Parallel crossings enable cyclists to cross a road safely and with the same level of priority as a zebra crossing gives a pedestrian. They are designed to make cyclists’ journeys easier and more reliable, giving them priority over all traffic on the road.

They look very similar to a zebra crossing with Belisha beacons and white zig zag markings but the crossing includes a cycle crossing area ‘parallel’ to the zebra crossing area, which is marked by broken white lines.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, deputy leader of Essex County Council and cabinet member for infrastructure, said:

“Parallel Crossings are a key part of our efforts to grow cycling in Essex.

“If we are to limit congestion, keep people and local goods deliveries moving while at the same time reducing pollution, then we must promote cycling as an alternative transport.

“Part of that effort is making cycling more efficient and safer and therefore a more attractive option.”

There are six parallel crossings currently planned for Essex, some of which will replace existing zebra crossings, some of which will be entirely new crossing facilities.

Several examples are already working successfully in London, Cambridge, Bournemouth and Nottingham. In the same way that pedestrians have priority on zebra crossings, both pedestrians and cyclists have priority on parallel crossings

Cyclists will need to check that traffic has seen them and stopped before attempting to cross the road, in the same way that pedestrians must at a zebra crossing. Drivers will need to check for approaching cyclists and be aware that they may wish to use the crossing.

17 June 2019

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