New York countdown zebra crossings in London trial

image captionThe new crossings will be installed at three locations

A trial of New York-style "countdown" traffic lights will begin in London in late June, BBC London has learned.

A Transport for London study found many pedestrians are unsure of how much time they have on zebra crossings after the green man light goes out.

Now leaked documents show eight crossings with illuminated countdown signs will be installed, including in Balham, Blackfriars and Holborn.

In the US lights with timers are common.

The study authors said: "Research showed many pedestrians assume the only safe time to cross is when the green man is displayed at junctions.

"In fact, the green man only signals the invitation to start crossing the road, and the blackout period that follows continues to give people the right of way.

"This means even if a pedestrian steps off the kerb as the green man signal goes out and the blackout period begins, they still have enough time to cross the road before traffic starts to move."

The behaviour of pedestrians at the new crossings will be monitored closely.

TfL hopes to be in a position to consider introducing the systems at additional junctions across London.

If the new lights - due to be announced on 21 June - are a success they will be installed more widely.

The authors added: "TfL hopes to be in a position to consider introducing the Pedestrian Countdown systems at additional junctions across London."

But the public response to the idea has not all been enthusiastic.

Andrew Bowden told the BBC: "I saw one of these in Dublin. It kind of made me feel rather stressed in an 'Only 30 seconds to cross, must hurry up' way."

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