Zebra crossings are expensive. With installation costs ranging from £30,000 to over six figures, local authorities struggle to find the funds necessary to install safe crossings in the areas that need them most. Part of the reason zebra crossings are so expensive is that British law states they can only be installed on road where Belisha Beacons and zig zag markings are also in place. As well as adding significant cost, these requirements prevent the crossing from being installed on side road junctions.
However, all that could be about to change. Greater Manchester Combined Authority is calling for changes to traffic sign regulations to allow zebra crossing marking to be installed on side road junctions – as they are in continental Europe.
Manchester plan to use the European-style crossings as part of its new Bee network of cycle routes and estimate they will reduce the cost of a crossing from £30,000 to around £500.
Zebra crossings in short supply
Every child has the right to cross to school in safety. We want to ensure that every school can get a designated safe crossing on any road on which it has an entrance. It’s the reason we developed our pop-up zebra crossing and why we took it to St Peter’s School in Portslade to help with their own campaign to get the safe crossing their kids deserve. Parents and teachers have been lobbying their local council for a safe way to cross the busy road outside the school for many years, but despite many promises it has failed to materialise.
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.
Just for good measure, we dropped in on a council meeting and took the inflatable zebra crossing 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 rated ethical 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 six years on, it continues to offer cycle insurance, travel insurance and breakdown cover 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.