In the UK is it legal to use tracks+mini-zebras for cycle-pedestrian conflict at junctions with toucan crossings? Diagram

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In the UK is it legal to use tracks+mini-zebras for cycle-pedestrian conflict at junctions with toucan crossings? Diagram

I'm thinking something like this:

Kinda Dutch approach, within UK regulations that don't currently allow cycle-specific lights. You have motor vehicle phases with red men, then everyone walking/cycling gets green at once, standard toucan arrangement.

This kind of arrangement ought to help with a number of potential issues with segregated junctions:

  • Dropped and lowered kerbs don't force pedestrians to step over a kerb between a cycleway and a road
  • Cycles turning right can do so in one phase, assuming it is long enough...
  • Cycles turning right cross both roadways without having to stop for any zebras
  • ...a long phase also helps slow pedestrians
  • No need to change motor vehicle turning lanes, any lane layout works
  • Simultaneous phase for cycles and pedestrians can help motor vehicle capacity (even if that is not our priority, many politicians/councils will care about this)
  • Cycles cannot see the traffic lights for motor vehicles
  • The common pedestrian green man with beeping sound can remain, helping blind and partially sighted pedestrians
  • As a bonus, cycles can turn left at any time (a "free left")
pete owens

If it isn't then it ought to be - it looks mighty confusing for pedestrians. But, I assume this is what would happen:

During the red phase some pedestrians would accumulate on the zebra crossings waiting for the green man, while others will stay back on the footway treating the whole thing as a single crossing (I'm not sure how you intend them to use it) - so cyclists would normally need to stop in single file before the zebra.

When when the green man shows, the pedestrians blocking the mini-zebra would start to cross the road while the ones waiting on the pavement would cross the zebra.  Then, the first cyclist and perhaps the second would be able to move forward before the zebra is once again occupied by pedestrians crossing from the other side.

They would then approach the cycle crossing just in time to stop for cyclists crossing from the right. (You have not marked priority here but it would be critical for safety that the crossing cyclists have priority over those on the cycleway to otherwise they could end up being forced to stop on the road at the end of the cycle).

Then they would move forward to the main crossing just in time for the lights to turn red.

Note: a long green phase doesn't help slow pedestrians, what they need is a long "All Red" phase so they can complete the crossing if they step onto the road just before the end of the green man stage. Pedestrians prefer the green phases to be short because the key feature for them is the overall period of the cycle (ie how long they need to wait for the next opportunity to cross - especially if they want to cross both arms and have to wait twice.)  Ideally pedestrians would be able to cross diagonally.


Wouldn't it be obvious that standing on the zebra would be blocking the cycleway? It leads to the crossing point with the red man, you can't continue. It's so simple, yet maybe lots of people wouldn't realise. You generally shouldn't stand in the middle of a zebra, anyway. If you did so on a normal standalone zebra crossing, you'd be blocking the cars.

Tombaileytyne's comment about using give way markings on the cycleway instead of zebras would probably reduce that, but I'd prefer zebra markings as they're more easily recognised. At a zebra, give way to pedestrians, everyone knows.

As Easy As Ridi...

A form of this design is pretty much standard at Dutch signalised junctions.

In practice there is a large waiting area between the zebra crossing and the signalised part of the crossing. Pedestrians can cross the 'zebra' part of the junction whenever they like (it's not signalised), and wait safely for the green signal on this island. See this photograph here, for instance.

The lady with the dog has crossed on the zebra, and is waiting for a green signal. People on bikes can pass behind her, without conflict.


Thanks for the response. I've been looking at Dutch junctions, the idea of this was to put together something with UK markings (signalised zebras are not allowed, for instance) and that could work within current regulations (toucan signals).

A pedestrian waiting area between the cycleway and road is a good solution, but, while I'm all for road space reallocation, in many cases that might necessitate losing the the right turn lane for cars. Here, for example. Bearing in mind that the current UK situation is complete car dependency, I'm uneasy about a very large reduction in motor vehicle capacity (congestion collapse).

Here's what I have so far (removed low pavement between cycleway and roadway crossing, changed zebras to give way markings and given crossing cycles priority over joining cycles). I'm not sure how to make clear that pedestrians should wait to cross on the grey pavement rather than the cycleway. We don't really have that in the UK yet. Perhaps more cycle symbols.

pete owens

I don't think you can get away with making it that compact in any case. If you have 3m wide traffic lanes then left turning vehicles are not going to make it round a bend that tight. You can - and indeed should - use very tight corners on lightly trafficed streets where turning vehicles can use the whole width of the road. Once you put in a realistic turning corner then you have the space for pedestrian islands - though the junction does need to occupy more real estate.

How about putting a "scramble" pedestrian crossing on the inside closer to the junction

With the cycle crossings futher out. That way pedestrians could wait at an island on the corner and you would only need 4 pedestrian/cycle track crossings (diagonally at each corner) rather than 8.


This would solve the problem of having pedestrian crossings over the bike path. You can see the bikes stop before the pedestrian crossing at these junctions in Groningen.,6.561652&spn=0.000468,0.001003&t=h...

Sometimes it seems a pain to be waiting for a while and you don't always get free right (UK left) turns but then you can easily do left (UK right) turns. So this would be easy to implement on a busy compact junction. 

pete owens

Is there any significance at all to black and white 'zebra' markings in NL?

In the UK a zebra means that pedestrians have priority. In the photo, the pedestrian is stopped at what superfically appears to be a zebra crossing - but is faced by two red man signals. It looks like they are required to cross the road in four separate stages - with push button delays.


In the Netherlands, pedestrians on zebras have priority as well, but traffic lights have higher decision, so with the traffic lights there, the zebra only functions to denote to all concerned at which place pedestrians are likely to cross the road.

Regarding the different stages: There is really only one push button delay here. The traffic lights are not involved in the crossing of the cycleways, those are normal zebra crossings. On the road, pedestrians will get green for both halves at the same time, and the time period would be enough to cross for even the slowest walkers. So a pedestrian will need a push button at the half-way point only if s/he arrived at the crossing somewhere midway a green phase.


The mini zebras on cycle track are not authorised,  normally a uk design would use give way markings on the cycle track to achieve the same thing.   Otherwise, yes, its all good, having parallel cycle and ped lines marked through a toucan is fine.  


It's me again! Here's an updated layout, with sensible corner radii and better handling of pedestrian crossings, and with and without right turn lanes:

Now, pedestrians should be taken care of. From a pedestrian point of view at the crossing point, it looks like any other road as the cycleway and seperators are discontinued 2m away in both directions. You wouldn't step off the footway onto the black tarmac until there is a green man. The prominent give way line and triangle and change of colour should be enough to tell those cycling they can proceed only when nobody is crossing.

There is also a 3.5m long buffer for queueing cycles between the cycle/cycle conflict point at each corner and the cycle give way line for the pedestrian crossing. The cycle/cycle conflict point is only 2m wide, but cycles won't obstruct other cycles making different movements, because all proceed at once.

Now, the only potential issues are the crossing length (14.4 metres with a right turn lane, 11.4m without) which may be an issue for slower pedestrians e.g. disabled or the elderly, and that the pedestrian crossing is set back from the junction mouth considerably (by about 8 metres from the junction mouth); thus to cross two arms of the junction (between opposite corners) there probably won't be enough time. Walking down the road and crossing again further down is an option though.

Also, standard toucan signals don't have any red signal for bikes - only a red man. It still looks and feels similar to a pedestrian crossing with the painted or metal studs across the carriageway, but the cycleway is a "different" space (unlike a shared pavement), so people cycling may not realise they have to wait for a green bicycle symbol light. Perhaps "LOOK RIGHT ->" could be painted in the road as a reminder. I'm fine with this, UK road regulations may not be(?)

Hopefully the painted "NO ENTRY" should deter people from turning right immediately (going the wrong way into oncoming bikes).

Any bicycle movement should get through in one toucan phase, provided they arrive on a red man. On approach, nobody crossing so proceed to the bicycle stopping point. Left turns flow freely (can always be made at any time) - no carriageways to cross. To go straight or right, proceed on the toucan crossing phase and give way to pedestrians at the marked point when leaving the junction. Carry on in a gap or once all pedestrians have crossed - no more lights to deal with.

It would be better to have a 2 or 3+ metre wide pedestrian island between the cycleway and carriageway as is common in NL, this is for situations where space is tight (and possibly to maintain a right-turn lane).


"people cycling may not realise they have to wait for a green bicycle symbol light" - no, they do not have to wait for a green bicycle symbol light. Not even if there's a red bicycle symbol light. Toucans are basically an uncontrolled crossing for cycles that sometimes stops the conflicting motorists, so that's not a problem.

A problem in the linked images seems to be that cycles using the crossings have a sharp corner to turn onto a crossing, especially if they're turning right after going straight on. The "right only"s should be arrows not words, but I suspect you know that.

pete owens

First off - this is not a toucan - that is a shared-use crossing where cyclists and pedestrians are sharing the same movement; your arrangement is for separate pedestrian and cycle routes throgh the junction. This means you don't need to worry about red cycle signals. Just think of the cycleways as ordinary carriageways from wich certain classes of vehicle (motorised ones) are forbidden. This means that you should use ordinary red/amber/green lights and stop lines on the cycle lanes just as if they were general traffic lanes.

However, since the pedestrian and cycle routes cross each other, then they can't be simultaneously green. When the pedestrians have a green man then all crossing traffic must be held on red - including human powered vehicles - and continue to be held on red after the red man has come on for long enough for a slow pedestrian to complete the crossing.


I don't think it's an absolute requirement in the regulations to hold cycle traffic for pedestrian crossings or road crossings, is it? Think of cycleways as carriageways which are restricted to cycles - you can put an uncontrolled or priority crossing of the cycleway alongside a lit crossing of a neighbouring carriageway. Everyone can have their own opinion on whether that's appropriate, of course.

(I can't see the text of the post by Pete Owens here but I did get it by email.)

pete owens

It is a requirement for any signalled pedestrian crossing that conflicting traffic is held on red while there is a green man and for long enough afterwards for pedestrians to clear the crossing (though sadly the timing expects pedestrians to move rather more quickly than many older people are capable). It would be possible to have pedestrians cross in several stages with a combination of zebras and signalled crossings (as was the initial concept proposed here) but that would need islands for pedestrians to arrive at at the completion of each stage - and thus a significantly larger land take for the junction. You would also need to offset the crossings

Where is that requirement as applying to adjacent cycleways stated? I didn't spot it in LTN 2/95 and I'm pretty sure some segregated crossings of Highways Agency roads allow conflicting movements from people on foot and on cycles.
pete owens

The issue is not the crossings that are adjacent, but those that are perpendicular. (ie where an E-W pedestrian crossing crosses a N-S cycle path ).

LTN 2/29 has nothing specific to say about adjacent crossings in any case. It does include toucan crossings, but those are shared-use facilites (ie cyclists are considered as wheeled pedestrians). 

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