First "Tiger Crossing" for cyclists comes to London
London Borough of Hackney has just upgraded the hugely popular London Cycle Network route 9 leading up to the Town Hall.
The crossing of Richmond Road E8 for many years has been marked with informal white blocks. In anticipation of the upgrade to the official UK guidelines on signs and road markings Hackney has installed what we think is London's first "Tiger Crossing".
A "Tiger Crossing" combines a pedestrian zebra with a crossing for people on bikes. They are called "Tiger" because early versions had yellow stipes on black tarmac.
Until now some drivers were uncertain about giving way to bikes and pedestrians at this crossing. Now people on bikes get the same priority as do pedestrians on the zebra.
This is possibly the first such crossing in London, it may even be the first in the UK. In the Netherlands this type of arrangement is very common, it is an essential element of many of their safe junction designs.
The simple effectiveness of this layout should be attractive to every other borough and highway authority in the UK. It is far cheaper and easier to install than a signalized crossing. It also means that there is less delay and higher level of service for all road users.
On approach to the crossing there is a give way sign for riders on the cycle route. This protects the priority of pedestrians walking on the Richmond Road pavements.
In the future these extra signs may not be necessary - allowing for the informal mixing of people on bikes with people on foot as often seen at similar crossings in other European countries.
This is how it looked before the improvements. Many thousands of cyclists a day cross here, most drivers were used to it and gave way but some were confused. It was more difficult for the thousands of pedestrians who also cross here.
London Cycle Network route 9 follows the medieval route of the Black Path linking London to Walthamstow and on to Essex. It is also known as the Market Porters route. The route was here before the road was built and before cars were invented.