“Intelligent” pedestrian crossings land outside London tube stations

London wants to spark a revolution in pedestrian crossings and is implementing a trial of “intelligent” pedestrian crossings that could in future make it safer for cyclists on the capital’s streets.

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The Evening Standard reports that traffic lights outside Balham and Tooting Bec tube stations will be re-phased in order to give priority to pedestrians crossing the road outside the busy tube stations as opposed to cars.

Pedestrian Scoot [split cycle offset optimisation technique], as it is known, was first trialled during the London 2012 Olympic Games and works using video cameras that work out how many pedestrians are inside a virtual “box”. This information is then fed to the lights that allow the pedestrians to cross the road and exit the box before cars are allowed to pass.

The system, if successful, could eventually be adapted to assist cyclists that travel during busy rush hour periods with the safety of cyclists at the top of the agenda after 14 cyclists died on London’s streets during 2013.

“I am delighted that London is the first city in the world to be trialling this cutting-edge equipment, which will benefit pedestrians across the city. This really is a fantastic example of how London is leading the way by using 21st century technology to help make it easier for people to get around our great city," said Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.

Transport for London, which is rolling out the scheme, added that it is proof they are committed to using new technology in order to improve London’s roads and make the city a safer place for all those in it.

Image Credit: Flickr (commonorgarden)