NTA launches active travel pilot scheme for new zebra crossings

Posted: 31 October 2022 | | No comments yet

Running for a period of nine months, the pilot will provide the National Transport Authority with data to inform a decision on whether to omit or replace flashing beacons at crossings with a fixed sign.

NTA launches active travel pilot scheme for new zebra crossings

Credit: National Transport Authority

The National Transport Authority (NTA), in collaboration with the Department of Transport and Active Travel teams in Limerick City and County Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, has announced that it is beginning a pilot scheme of a new type of zebra crossing.

The pilot will see eight new crossings installed – five in Limerick and three in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown – without flashing orange Belisha Beacon lights. Instead, the new zebra crossings will include fixed signs that will alert motorists to the crossing.

NTA anticipates that by facilitating crossings in legislation without a requirement for beacons, which will provide for the right of way for pedestrians to cross, it will allow Road Authorities to increase the number of crossing points and assist with active travel and pedestrian safety in urban areas where speed limits are 50km/h or less.

Anne Graham, CEO of NTA, said: “Working with our partners in the local authorities, the NTA is looking for innovative ways to roll-out new infrastructure that will make it safer for pedestrians. Based on the findings of the pilot, we could see more of these easier to install zebra crossings appearing on roads nationwide.”

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Joe Seymour, Head of Active Travel Investment at NTA, said: “This type of zebra crossing is much cheaper to implement and will have far less ongoing maintenance costs. There is also the benefit of no longer requiring any electric power as there are no flashing beacons. As a result, they can be delivered in a more timely manner.”

The pilot is expected to run for nine months. While it is not expected to eliminate the use of Belisha Beacons, this pilot will provide the information to inform a decision to omit or replace them with a fixed sign, in certain situations.

In most pilot location cases, the Belisha Beacons will be replaced with a fixed sign. The following two options for signage will be used:

  • A 450mm sign to be used in locations with traffic speeds less than 30 km/h
  • A 600mm sign which includes a fluorescent yellow border to be used in locations with traffic speeds greater than 30 km/h and less than 50km/h.