Crossings and junction types explained

Priority Controlled Crossings

Zebra crossings

Zebra crossings have flashing beacons on the pavement, black and white stripes on the road and zigzag lines on either side. These lines prohibit parking either side of the zebra crossing. Traffic does not have to stop until a pedestrian has moved onto the crossing.

Zebra crossing (click to open large version)

Parallel crossings (also known as Tiger Crossing)

A parallel crossing consists of a zebra crossing with a parallel priority cycleway. which has priority over the road which it crosses. Traffic does not have to stop until a pedestrian or cyclist has moved onto the crossing.

Plodder Lane - Parallel crossing 4 lighter (click to open large version)


There are proposed wording changes to guidance on Priority Controlled crossings in the Highway Code due to be released in January 2022 to state that "Traffic should give way to pedestrians waiting to cross a zebra crossing, and to pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a parallel crossing.


Signal Controlled crossings

Pelican crossings

These are signal-controlled crossings operated by pedestrians. Pushing the button will activate the traffic signals, but pedestrians should not cross when the red figure is illuminated. When a steady green figure shows, drivers will be shown a red light telling them to stop. If the green figure begins to flash, pedestrians should not start to cross. Drivers must not move until the pelican crossing is free of pedestrians.

Pelican crossing (click to open large version)

Puffin crossings

These are smart versions of the older pelican crossings. They use sensors to indicate when the crossing is clear to release the traffic. Puffin crossings differ from pelican crossings as the red and green figures are above the control box on the side of the road next to pedestrians waiting to cross. There is no flashing green figure phase. Simply press the button and wait for the green figure to show.

Puffin crossing (click to open large version)

Toucan crossings

Toucan crossings work in the same way as pelican and puffin crossings, with the key difference being that they can be used by pedestrians and cyclists. They are push-button operated. Drivers will see a red light when the pedestrians and cyclists are shown a green light to cross.

Toucan crossing (1) (click to open large version) Toucan crossing (2) (click to open large version)

Sparrow crossings

A sparrow crossing is a signal-controlled parallel crossing that people travelling on foot and by bike can cross the road separately from each other, increasing safety and making it easier to carry on their journey.

Watch a video explaining TfGM's new sparrow crossing - YouTube - TfGM Signalised Parallel Crossing Explainer.


New junctions

CYCLOPS junction

A CYCLOPS signal-controlled junction provides a cycle route around the outside of the junction, separating cyclists from general traffic and pedestrians. People travelling on foot are also able to get where they want to be in fewer stages with more space to wait than on other junction designs and are provided dedicated crossing points across the cycle track.

Royce Road - CYCLOPS junction aerial view (click to open large version)