Pelicans, Puffins, Pegusus’ and Zebra’s, oh my

So we are heading out of London this weekend (gasp) to see the lovely UK countryside as in all of our travels, we haven’t seen much of the UK.  We are heading to a city called Cheltenham and are considering hiring a car and driving around to some neighbouring (and highly recommended) little towns.  In anticipation of our suicide missionroad trip on the other side of the road, I bought a little book that should help us dechiper the various road signs/warnings as on our last road trip through France we didn’t have such a book and quickly realised that our Canadian drivers training isn’t necessarily globally recognised.

Anyhoo I was flipping through the pages and most stuff seemed pretty intuitive (except I loved that they have one sign telling you to look out for frail pedestrians) except when I came to the pedestrian crossing which must have been named by some bird aficionado.  The crossings are called a Toucan, Pelican and Puffin….(three birds which I believe aren’t even found in the UK..)

The Pelican is the oldest type of pedestrian crossing and has a button for pedestrians to push then indicates by a green walking man figure when you can walk and a red standing man figure when you shouldn’t.

Then there is the Toucan which is a pedestrian AND cyclist crossing…each with their own symbol.


Then we have the newest one which is the Puffin…the puffin is extra schwanky as it detects movement by pedestrians through a little sensor above the button and manages the lights accordingly so ti wont change if no one is there and will give extra time for those frail pedestrians. Apparently the Pelicans will be replaced by the much fancier Puffin thus making the Pelican extinct (in the UK anyway) 

Then the Pegasus…aka the Equestrian crossing.  Yes, there are enough people riding horseback through city streets in the UK to warrant them getting their own crossing lights (for real! check em out there are some down by Buckingham Palace).  

And last but not least, the Zebra crossing….surprisingly this is not for Zebras (since horses have their own) but for pedestrians, crossing without the aid of lights…they paint black and white Zebra (click here for the English pronunciation of it…it’s apparnetly not zeeeee bra as I say it)

Hmm I am not sure if its intentional or not but now I know everything there is to know about pedestrian travel in the UK…maybe its my subconscious telling me to not get behind the wheel.

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9 Responses to Pelicans, Puffins, Pegusus’ and Zebra’s, oh my

  1. Anonymous says:

    A toucan crossing is a type of pedestrian crossing found in the UK that also allows bicycles to be ridden across. Since two-can, both pedestrians and cyclists, cross together, the name toucan was chosen.

    The official name is Pelicon crossing (short for pedestrian light controlled crossing) but pelican is consistent with other crossing types (see below) named after animals and, in particular, birds.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Just to let you know, Cheltenham is a town not a city x

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Pegasus crossing is only found in London, due to the queens horses – around UK you will not find that crossing anywhere else 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      Not true. They are on the roads by Richmond Park in Petersham. And its got absolutely nothing to do with the Queens Horses. Can yo honestly imagine anyone stupid enough to ride one of the quuens horses down the High Street…..

    • Anonymous says:

      you can also find in Scotland mate

  4. James says:

    Also, they do NOT paint black and white stripes on Zebra crossings. They paint white stripes on the road!!

  5. becky says:

    Puffins are a UK species of bird. The other two are not of course (Pelican and Toucan)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Puffin = Pedestrian User Friendly Intelligent crossing: its lights are on the near side of the crossing and it has motion sensors. Toucan = Two Can (the pedestrian and the cyclist). 🙂

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