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Town's puffin crossing - dangerous confusion

(February 11, 2009)
PEDESTRIANS are still huffin' and puffin' at the new crossing arrangements for the town centre of Warminster as change is proving difficult to cope with among all ages,  writes Paul Macdonald
The central government preferred Puffin crossing at the junction of the Market Place and Weymouth Street has already been given the bird by town councillors.
Despite being publicly reported in two local papers and on a radio station it is still not understood by many people.
"I do not think it is safe," said one mother describing her scary moment when she stepped out with her three-year-old daughter.
"We were stood there waiting to cross with several other people obscuring our view. Then they rushed off and we stepped out.
"Because I was looking to the right for the green man I almost missed the car and had to quickly pull my daughter out of the way."
Then she also realised that because they lined up alongside each other than behind each other her daughter and herself may have been missed by the sensors.
"I do not think this is better than the crossing we are used to. You have to look to the right whereas before you were looking forward and could see out of the corner of your eye."
Puffin crossings work on the basis of sensors that follow the crossing of pedestrians rather than giving a set time to get across.
The sensors can either be on top of the lights or in the ground. Stepping outside the ones on the ground is a concern.
visionforwarminster found that the town library does have a small supply of a Department for Transport leaflets 'How to use a Puffin crossing'.
It appears to us that it is obviously designed for a simple crossing like that in East Street where there is just traffic from left and right.
The complication here is that it is a T-junction with motorists coming from around the corners and also the bigger temptation to cross diagonally.
See what you think about the information that the leaflet contains.
"I have one of these new crossings near my place of work and find it less than satisfactory," said Steve Dancey.
"During busy periods people stand in front of the green/red man causing confusion and I believe this will increase the chances of an accident."
before you cross the road at a puffin crossing look at the Red/Green Man box.
It will be on your side of the road,usually to your right as you face the road
If the Green Man is showing, make sure the traffic has stopped in both directions before crossing the road.
If the Red Man is showing,do not cross the road.
Push the buttonon the Red/Green Man box and stand where you can clearly see the box.
Make sure the indicator besides the button lights up. The indicator stays lit until the box shows the Green Man.
If the indicator light goes out and the Green Man is not showing, push the button again and wait for the Green Man.
When the Green man showsand the traffic has stopped in both directions, cross the road with care.
Don't worryif you can't see the Red/Green Man signals when crossing. The traffic lights will stay red for drivers in both directions until you reach the other side of the road, allowing you to cross in safety.

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