Guerrilla zebra crossings: Then and now

zebra crossing

Faced with dangerous traffic outside their campus, and armed only with pots of paint and a healthy disregard for authority, students at UCL in 1959 daubed the road with zebra crossing markings. Within months, the local authority had installed a real one.

It’s more than a little depressing that over half a century later, getting zebra crossing installed is far from easy…and in many cases requires protest. It’s the reason we developed our pop-up zebra crossing.

pop-up zebra crossing

If you know any school, community group or individual who has lobbied in vain for a safe crossing and would like to borrow our crossing to mount their own protest, drop us a line.

The protest outside the school resulted in coverage in the Brighton Argus newspaper and an offer of help from the local port, which happens to be a source of much of the lorry traffic that passes the school.

pop-up zebra crossing

Just for good measure, and because the council has made many empty promises, we dropped in on a council meeting and took the inflatable zebra croissing with us.

What is a pop-up zebra crossing?

When we were approached by a group of parents whose request for a zebra crossing at a road traffic collision black spot outside their local infant school had been turned down on grounds of cost, we went about building one ourselves as cheaply as possible.

The result was a pop-up zebra crossing that could be erected in less than two minutes. And with no need to consider drainage, the excavation of existing pavement, disposal of material, new kerbing and paving, anti-skid surfacing, road markings, traffic signs, electrical connections and pillars, the total cost came to £50 – considerably less than the £114,000 quoted by the Highways Agency.

Faced with coverage of the campaign in the Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Evening Standard and Metro newspapers and on numerous radio stations, the local authority quickly installed the much-needed real zebra crossing.

If you are facing a similar challenge trying to get a zebra crossing for your school, please get in touch.

Your journey, our world

The ETA has been voted to be an ethical company in Britain for the second year running by the Good Shopping Guide.

The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Twenty seven years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance, travel insurance breakdown cover and home insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all it does.

Every time you buy a policy from us you help fund campaigns like the one you’ve read about above.

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