Waiting for Zebras

There is some hope that the ongoing concerns of many residents over speeding on residential streets can be addressed by introducing pedestrian crossings, but only if the SNP/Labour Administration is prepared to prioritise walkers’ safety from unsafe road use.

An independent report from Greater Manchester found that zebra markings lead to a 65% increase in vehicles giving way to people on foot (up from 4 in 10 with no markings to 7 in 10 with markings).

Lib Dem Councillors brought a motion to November’s Full Council asking officers to investigate the potential to set up a trial of zebra markings on side streets in Edinburgh, learning from trials in Manchester and Aarhus. This follows a national call signed by Living Streets, British Cycling, Guide Dogs, the Campaign for Better Transport, The Ramblers, Sustrans and Playing Out as well as the motoring body The AA for central government to authorise zebra markings for side streets.

The motion highlighted the importance of walking, active travel and how zebra crossings increase safety and confidence for pedestrians, including schoolchildren and parents.

Deputations from three city primary schools including Stockbridge Primary asked for trial schemes to be introduced, even offering detailed suggestions of where they could go and why.

Unfortunately the SNP/Labour Administration (backed by the Greens) did not accept the motion, choosing instead to delay officers investigating trial schemes, citing the need to use Council transport resources for other priorities. This is a very strange and sadly disappointing decision given the importance of safety, active travel and of pedestrians compared to other means of transport.

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