If these are actually "traffic lights"?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
gloomyandy
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If these are actually "traffic lights"?

Postby gloomyandy » 7 Aug 2019, 10:25pm

A few days ago I cycled the most recently completed phase of the Leeds/Bradford cycle superhighway (from canal road Shipley into Bradfornd) and it has a fair number of this type of lights on it:
Image
So you basically arrive and press the button and then wait and wait and wait, even though you are looking at an empty road. So the thing is are these types of lights an actual "traffic light" or "traffic signal" or whatever from a legal point of view? If they are then ignoring them (like many of the pedestrians using the adjacent pedestrian crossing do) is in theory "jumping a red light" and a bad thing. I only very occasionally use this route so I didn't really mind waiting, but I can imagine that if you used it as part of a commute then having to wait as long as I did would soon get to be rather frustrating and I'd be tempted to just ignore the (rather nicely constructed) cycle way and simply ride on the road as in many places these lights are positioned when the cycle way switches from one side of the road to the other or in some cases when a side road joins the main route (and so cuts across the cycle way) and in both these cases a cyclist on the road would not have to wait.

There are also many large painted warning signs on the way surface just before points that entrances to private factories/yards/car parks etc. cross the cycle way. The way these "junctions" appear to me clearly indicates that the cycle way has some sort of priority (no give way lines and the green cycle path paint just continues on), but I do wonder what will happen when (and it probably is when) there is a collision between a cyclist and a vehicle at these points. Can a driver claim that the painted sign means that a cyclist should give way? It's a tricky thing to get right, obviously warning of the possible danger is a good thing, but we don't have these things painted all over a normal road for every side entrance etc.

I also noticed that at one point the cycle way passes right past a no entry sign that has no indication that this only applies to cars etc on the adjacent road. I guess this will get sorted at some point. But it does raise the issue (like the above) of the exact status of a cycle way and the signs etc. around it.

Has anyone any experience of this sort of thing in other areas?

Some pictures of parts of the new cycle way https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/ ... /#gallery0
and comments here: https://road.cc/content/news/261283-new ... esponsible

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gaz
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Re: If these are actually "traffic lights"?

Postby gaz » 7 Aug 2019, 11:14pm

gloomyandy wrote:So the thing is are these types of lights an actual "traffic light" or "traffic signal" or whatever from a legal point of view?

AIUI they are compulsory like any other set of carriageway traffic lights rather than advisory like a toucan crossing. I don't think there is any compulsory equivalent for pedestrians.
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freiston
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Re: If these are actually "traffic lights"?

Postby freiston » 8 Aug 2019, 12:10am

The Highway Code rules 80 & 81 state:

The Highway Code wrote:Rule 80
Toucan crossings. These are light-controlled crossings which allow cyclists and pedestrians to share crossing space and cross at the same time. They are push-button operated. Pedestrians and cyclists will see the green signal together. Cyclists are permitted to ride across.

Rule 81
Cycle-only crossings. Cycle tracks on opposite sides of the road may be linked by signalled crossings. You may ride across but you MUST NOT cross until the green cycle symbol is showing.


I can't find any illustration or description of the signalled crossings referred to in rule 81 but I notice that Toucan crossings are specifically described as push-button operated whilst the crossings in rule 81 are not.

I did find this article on the Cambridge Network website which has a photograph of identical-looking lights with this comment "New ‘low level’ cycle traffic signals have now been installed at the junction of Arbury Road and Campkin Road to allow cyclists to move off before other traffic to improve safety." (my emboldening) - which suggests a completely different function/purpose to that described in rule 81 of the Highway Code.
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)

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freiston
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Re: If these are actually "traffic lights"?

Postby freiston » 8 Aug 2019, 12:20am

That style of cycle-specific traffic signal is featured in a CTC web page and is similarly described as "low level traffic lights - small, cycle specific traffic
signals - which could permit advance signals to be used for cyclists without confusing other road users"
:

https://www.cyclinguk.org/news/dutch-st ... als-tested
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)

wjhall
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Re: If these are actually "traffic lights"?

Postby wjhall » 8 Aug 2019, 2:12pm

The wording of the TSGRD (1) does confirm that the red cycle symbol in these lamps is a compulsory stop. They are one of a group of four options, nos 3 to 4 in the traffic symbol group nos 1 to 4, to which the general traffic rule "...prohibition that vehicular traffic must not proceed..." applies.

This contrasts with the rule for all other horse, person and cycle symbols where the red one means "...pedestrian, equestrian or cyclist traffic (as the case may be) should not..."

It is a bad design choice because it means that two contrasting meanings are given to one signal, the red bicycle. Only the option with the complete red disc should have been used. This would correspond to the general traffic signal situation where a red disc means stop, only the calling on signals, like green and ahead only arrows are different. Whether a green bicycle is obligatory or advisory is not a matter of great importance.

If for the time being these are merely repeaters for the main traffic lights we could end up with a situation as in France, where, because pedestrian signals at a cross roads match the main signals, it is generally considered safer to cross a side road on the red man, because you are then protected from turning traffic coming from the main road.



(1) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016 ... le/14/made


**********************************
I have put some larger fragments of the TSGRD below, with my insertions in brackets []:

[Traffic light signals]
...
5.—(1) This paragraph applies to traffic light signals.

(2) The significance of the light signals to which paragraph 4(2) applies, when illuminated, is that specified in sub-paragraphs (3) to (9).

(3) Subject to sub-paragraphs (4) to (6), the red signal conveys the prohibition that vehicular traffic must not proceed beyond the stop line.

(4) Sub-paragraph (5) applies on an occasion where a vehicle is being used for at least one of the purposes set out in sub-paragraph (6) and the observance of the prohibition in sub-paragraph (3) would be likely to hinder the use of the vehicle for that purpose.

(5) The prohibition conveyed is that the vehicle must not proceed beyond the stop line in such a manner or at such a time as to be likely to endanger any person or to cause the driver of another vehicle to change its speed or course in order to avoid an accident.

(6) The purposes are—

(a)fire and rescue authority;

(b)Scottish Fire and Rescue Service;

(c)ambulance;

(d)blood service;

(e)providing a response to an emergency at the request of an NHS ambulance service;

(f)bomb or explosive disposal;

(g)special forces

(h)police; and

(i)National Crime Agency.

........
.....

[Red and green pedestrian, equestrian and cyclist symbols]

9.—(1) This paragraph applies to a sign provided for at item 9, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21 or 22 in the Part 2 sign table.

(2) The requirements in relation to the light signals incorporated into the sign are—

(a)the red and green symbols, when illuminated, show a steady light;

(b)no green symbol is illuminated when any red symbol is illuminated;

(c)a green symbol is illuminated only when there is, at the same time, conveyed to vehicular traffic a prohibition against entering the crossing and the prohibition is indicated by—

(i)traffic light signals; or

(ii)a sign provided for at item 42, 43 or 44 placed with those signals.

(3) The significance of a red symbol when illuminated is that, in the interests of safety, pedestrian, equestrian or cyclist traffic (as the case may be) should not use the crossing.

(4) The significance of a green symbol when illuminated is that pedestrian, equestrian or cyclist traffic (as the case may be) may use the crossing.

......

.....

[The traffic lights for bicycles]

Diagram 3000.2A
...
Traffic light signals for the control of vehicular traffic consisting solely of pedal cycles (Alternative types)

....

softlips
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Re: If these are actually "traffic lights"?

Postby softlips » 8 Aug 2019, 4:13pm

There are loads of these in London. They change to green about 5 secs before the ones for the other vehicles thus enabling cyclists to get partially across the junction before the lights change.

I like them.

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Sweep
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Re: If these are actually "traffic lights"?

Postby Sweep » 8 Aug 2019, 7:04pm

softlips wrote:There are loads of these in London. They change to green about 5 secs before the ones for the other vehicles thus enabling cyclists to get partially across the junction before the lights change.

I like them.

Me too.
But.
From memory, there are some on cycle lanes which can be on red when the adjacent car traffic lane is on green.
One comes to mind approaching vauxhall bridge.
I assume it's to stop bikes on the cyclelane being hit by left turning cars.
But it is frustrating and i must remember to get in with the cars on that bit.
Sweep

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mjr
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Re: If these are actually "traffic lights"?

Postby mjr » 9 Aug 2019, 6:42am

gaz wrote:
gloomyandy wrote:So the thing is are these types of lights an actual "traffic light" or "traffic signal" or whatever from a legal point of view?

AIUI they are compulsory like any other set of carriageway traffic lights rather than advisory like a toucan crossing. I don't think there is any compulsory equivalent for pedestrians.

Complain to the route developers that they used the wrong lights and effectively downgraded the route, please. Suggest they switch to Toucan-puffins.
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softlips
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Re: If these are actually "traffic lights"?

Postby softlips » 9 Aug 2019, 9:42am

mjr wrote:
gaz wrote:
gloomyandy wrote:So the thing is are these types of lights an actual "traffic light" or "traffic signal" or whatever from a legal point of view?

AIUI they are compulsory like any other set of carriageway traffic lights rather than advisory like a toucan crossing. I don't think there is any compulsory equivalent for pedestrians.

Complain to the route developers that they used the wrong lights and effectively downgraded the route, please. Suggest they switch to Toucan-puffins.


Usually they are used at junctions and not at crossings.

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mjr
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Re: If these are actually "traffic lights"?

Postby mjr » 9 Aug 2019, 9:47am

softlips wrote:
mjr wrote:
gaz wrote:AIUI they are compulsory like any other set of carriageway traffic lights rather than advisory like a toucan crossing. I don't think there is any compulsory equivalent for pedestrians.

Complain to the route developers that they used the wrong lights and effectively downgraded the route, please. Suggest they switch to Toucan-puffins.


Usually they are used at junctions and not at crossings.

Indeed. There are places they're used where they offer cycling advantages like early start, but this looks like an incorrect use to the detriment of cycling. I'm not convinced that the red light would be enforceable because the bizarre installation probably fails the letter of the law/regulations somehow, but I'd rather not anyone have to argue it!
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andrew_s
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Re: If these are actually "traffic lights"?

Postby andrew_s » 9 Aug 2019, 10:07am

gloomyandy wrote:I also noticed that at one point the cycle way passes right past a no entry sign that has no indication that this only applies to cars etc on the adjacent road. I guess this will get sorted at some point. But it does raise the issue (like the above) of the exact status of a cycle way and the signs etc. around it.

My understanding is that there has to be a no entry sign on both sides of the road to stop traffic - i.e. it's illegal to pass between two signs, but OK if you pass round the outside of a sign.
There are quite a few places round here where a road is no entry except for cycles. Usually there's a small island with a 1 m cycle gap between the island and the footway, and with the no entry sign for that side of the road on the island rather than the footway, so the cyclist passes to the left of the left-hand sign. Occasionally there may be an "except cycles" plate below the no entry, but it seems rare.

I've often wondered whether it would be OK for a motorcycle to use the 1 m gap to legally bypass the no entry, but all those I've seen have just ignored the no entry, like cars.

gloomyandy
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Re: If these are actually "traffic lights"?

Postby gloomyandy » 9 Aug 2019, 11:57am

Has anyone else here ridden this new section of the cycle way? I'd be interested in other views on these lights. I've no idea if the intention is that they should be compulsory or not. But I do know that it is frustrating to sit waiting for them when crossing an empty road, particularly when what is happening is that the cycle way is switching from one side of the road to the other and had you been on the road you would have simply continued on your way. It is a pity that these crossings are not able to make use of some sort of sensor rather than you having to stop and press a button, at least then there is a chance the light would change as you approached rather than having a series of stop/start movements.

andrew_s wrote:My understanding is that there has to be a no entry sign on both sides of the road to stop traffic - i.e. it's illegal to pass between two signs, but OK if you pass round the outside of a sign.

Ah that makes sense, it just seems odd to cycle straight past a no entry sign that is literally a few inches from you!


I've only used the route once so perhaps I will wait and see how it feels after a few uses, but I suspect I may revert to using an alternative road based route (which does not run alongside the cycle way and so at least to some extent will avoid the inevitable shouts from drivers to use the cycle way).

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freiston
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Re: If these are actually "traffic lights"?

Postby freiston » 9 Aug 2019, 12:10pm

andrew_s wrote:
gloomyandy wrote:I also noticed that at one point the cycle way passes right past a no entry sign that has no indication that this only applies to cars etc on the adjacent road. I guess this will get sorted at some point. But it does raise the issue (like the above) of the exact status of a cycle way and the signs etc. around it.

My understanding is that there has to be a no entry sign on both sides of the road to stop traffic - i.e. it's illegal to pass between two signs, but OK if you pass round the outside of a sign.
There are quite a few places round here where a road is no entry except for cycles. Usually there's a small island with a 1 m cycle gap between the island and the footway, and with the no entry sign for that side of the road on the island rather than the footway, so the cyclist passes to the left of the left-hand sign. Occasionally there may be an "except cycles" plate below the no entry, but it seems rare.

I've often wondered whether it would be OK for a motorcycle to use the 1 m gap to legally bypass the no entry, but all those I've seen have just ignored the no entry, like cars.

I would have thought that a "no motor vehicles" sign would be more appropriate.
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)

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gaz
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Re: If these are actually "traffic lights"?

Postby gaz » 9 Aug 2019, 9:23pm

freiston wrote:I can't find any illustration or description of the signalled crossings referred to in rule 81 ...

Here you go.
DSCN3051.JPG
Standard red and amber, green is a cycle symbol. Detection loops, no beg button.
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