VIDEO: Confusing crossing branded Sheffield’s most dangerous is ‘accident waiting to happen’

Matt Turner at the newly installed crossing on  Penistone Road which appears to show a green man as safe to cross when traffic is still passing by at speed. 'Picture by Dean Atkins
Matt Turner at the newly installed crossing on Penistone Road which appears to show a green man as safe to cross when traffic is still passing by at speed. 'Picture by Dean Atkins
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This new crossing on a busy road has been branded Sheffield’s ‘most dangerous’ after a council design blunder left pedestrians confused.

The pedestrian crossing on Penistone Road has two signal boxes, one facing walkers and another located at a side angle.

But when the first box shows the green man indicating it is safe to cross cars continue to fly by because the box actually controls an adjacent crossing on the left hand side. Campaigners fear it means walkers could step into the road believing they have the all-clear when drivers are in fact still on a green light.

“This is the most dangerous signalised crossing that I’ve ever seen anywhere, not just in Sheffield,” said concerned Matt Turner, of Hillsborough.

Matt, the new chairman of Cycle Sheffield, added: “You can imagine that if you are not paying 100 per cent attention or you are not a street geek like I am you will not understand that you cannot cross straight ahead.

“This is an accident waiting to happen.”

The crossing was installed as part of a major £5 million scheme to ease congestion and upgrade Penistone Road – Sheffield’s second busiest street after the Parkway and used by 60,000 motorists a day.

Plans to increase the speed limit on a section of the road from 30mph to 40mph have been shelved after concerns were raised over air quality and safety.

Matt added: “Someone would have died at this new crossing if they had been hit and the speed limit had gone up to 40mph – but we campaigned against that.

“If somebody did get hit there now there would be less chance of them of them dying. This is what happens when you design road traffic schemes where the effect on pedestrians and cyclists is an afterthought – it is putting lives at risk.”

A spokesman for council contractor Streets Ahead said: “We would like to thank Mr Turner for bringing this to our attention.

“As with all Puffin crossings, the push button and red and green figures are located to the right-hand side of the crossing that they control.

“This design means that the crossing signals face the user as they look towards oncoming traffic and the standard design means the crossing is familiar to, and can be easily navigated by partially-sighted users.

“However, whilst this crossing meets design requirements, it is acknowledged the layout in this instance could be confusing for some users of the crossing.”

The spokesman added: “As a result we have sent out a team today to investigate the operation of the crossing to see how the push button panels could be revised to make it simpler for pedestrians and cyclists to use the crossing.”

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