Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon met with pupils and staff from Mitchell House Special School to mark the completion of a scheme to provide enhanced crossing facilities and improve road safety on Holywood Road, Belfast.
The Minister met with the pupils and staff from Mitchell House Special School to view the upgraded PUFFIN crossing which is used regularly by the school community.
Minister Mallon said:
“I am committed to ensuring that our infrastructure is inclusive for all our citizens so I am really pleased to see the completion of this upgrade to the PUFFIN crossing on this busy stretch of road in Belfast. The crossing will improve road safety for pedestrians and in particular vulnerable road users such as children, the elderly and those with a disability.
“I was delighted to meet some of the pupils and staff from Mitchell House School and was really heartened by the positive feedback on the real difference this is making to them. The pupils will now have more time to safely cross the road and I hope that this brings them a greater sense of confidence and provides reassurance to them, their parents and school staff.
“The location is a popular crossing point, with other schools and shops nearby so I am confident it will be welcome news for the local community and visitors alike.”
Key features associated with PUFFIN crossings are that they do not have a flashing amber signal for drivers who are held on a red signal until pedestrians have completed their crossing and the time for pedestrians to cross the road can be extended by sensors which detect people still on the crossing. This is of particular benefit for vulnerable road users such as the elderly and those with a disability as it will allow more time for them to cross the road.
Notes to editors:
- The Minister is pictured with (centre) Miriam Donnan, Principal of Mitchell House Special School, along with pupils Thomas, Lana and Mia and school support staff Gemma Lucas and Beryl Dowery.
- PUFFIN stands for Pedestrian User Friendly Intelligent Crossing. The major differences between PUFFINS and Pelicans are that PUFFINS have the red/green man on the push button unit beside the pedestrian, who will be facing, and therefore be more aware of, oncoming traffic; there is no flashing amber signal to drivers – they are held on a red signal until pedestrians have completed their crossing and; the time for pedestrians to cross the road can be extended by sensors which detect people still on the crossing.
- Drivers also benefit from PUFFINS when a pedestrian pushes the push button and then moves away, the demand for the green man is cancelled so drivers do not experience an unnecessary delay.
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