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Road safety enters another dimension in Westminster

Fri, 15/03/2019

A 3D zebra crossing that encourages drivers to slow down as they approach it has been installed in St John’s Wood.

The innovative design will be the first time the major new safety measure has been tried out in the UK.

The scheme is just a few minutes away from the Abbey Road pedestrian crossing, as immortalised by The Beatles.

Westminster City Council adopted the clever floating affect after teachers at nearby Barrow Hill Junior School and local residents’ raised concerns around road safety.

The design is ‘dual directional’, which is what makes the floating illusion or 3D affect from both approaches in the road.

When drivers arrive at the crossing, the zebra’s 3D stripes give the impression that passing vehicles are about to drive over a ramp 

Similar types of crossings have already been tested in India, Malaysia, New Zealand and the United States.

The crossing will be trialled for the next nine to 12 months in St John’s Wood High Street at the junction of Wellington Place where Barrow Hill Junior School is located. 

If the trials prove successful then the scheme could be rolled out across the rest of the borough. 

Cllr Tim Mitchell, Cabinet Member for Environment and City Management, said: 

“Our 3D zebra crossing could be the future of road safety across the country and once again Westminster City Council is at the forefront in innovation in bringing this type of crossings to the UK. 

“Far from being simply a brilliant innovation that makes the ordinary look eye-grabbing and modern – the 3D effect helps drivers to see the crossing easier. It’s been proven to make roads and is another example of why Westminster has a national reputation for providing excellent local services, driving improvements, and making sure the city is safe and well run.”

Trials of a similar scheme in New Delhi, India, are reported to show that average speeds where it was employed had dropped by as much as 40 per cent, from 50kph to 30kph.

Cllr Robert Rigby, Westminster ward Councillor for Regent’s Park and Deputy Cabinet Member for Finance, Property and Regeneration, added:

“St John’s Wood High Street is a busy road and this innovative road safety scheme will make this stretch even safer. I know speeding cars is a concern for our residents especially NW8Mums, The St John’s Wood Society, and I’m delighted to help bring this wonderful innovation to the area.

“It’s also wonderful that tourists who flock to St John’s Wood to pay homage to The Beatles at Abbey Road studios and walk the famous zebra crossing will now have another world-famous crossing to visit.”

Barrow Hill Junior School headteacher, David Tomlinson, said:

“We’re pleased Westminster City Council has acted on our concerns. Although St John’s Wood High Street is safe on the whole, we feel some motorists could drive that little bit slower and we hope this innovative response works well.” 

Last updated: 15 March 2019