Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Endangered Species

I see that zebra crossings are disappearing due to the march of technology.  Those are the ones marked by Belisha beacons (named in 1934 after half of the Transport Minister Leslie Hore-Belisha, the other half having presumably already been taken).

Well, not around here.  Oxford Road currently contains about nine pelicans or puffins or whatever they’re called (the ones controlled by lights), and there is a proposal (not yet implemented, but it’s only been four months) to replace several of these with zebras, so as to speed up the buses.  I suggested at a local meeting that doing away with the bus stops would achieve this even better, but for some reason that didn’t go down very well.

I do hope the zebra crossing doesn’t become entirely extinct, as this would involve the loss of one of my favourite road signs, in Honey End Lane: ‘HUMPED ZEBRA CROSSING’.


In other completely unrelated news, I’ve just heard some minister, on ‘The World At One’, explain that the 0.5% growth figures must be welcomed as ‘better than predicted’.  Doesn't he mean ‘the predictions were wrong’?


  1. They put in a new zebra crossing in Yagnub (my local town, where we're all rather backward) two or three years ago. It's just at the point where, at a certain time of the day (that according to the time of the year) the sunlight hits drivers right in the eyes. Yes, there have been collisions.

    WV is cones. Sort of apposite? It'd be a bit freaky if they always were, though, like Google Ads.

  2. Hore-beacons are more red than orange I suppose...

  3. A couple of years ago the council installed zingy new bollards at the mini-roundabouts along the aforementioned Oxford Road. These are carefully positioned so as to make it impossible to see the right-turn indicators of omcoming traffic until it's too late. No personal mishaps as yet, I'm cautious.

  4. Presumably the idea is that the buses can keep going & mow down the zebra crossing pedestrians because the driver didn't see a red light. Or is it because kiddies keep pressing the buttons to make the pufficans turn red? In my local town they've put movement sensors on the pufficans so if no pedestrian movement they turn green again. It seems to work. But we have few buses.

    "Clientscoop" is how they should keep the buses moving. The "client" (for is that not what "consumers" (who once were "the public" & earlier were "people") now are?) is scooped up or delivered off by an onboard system similar to the ski-lift. It does involve a slight time-shift.

    When does the Hore-Belisha comet come round again?

  5. I suppose they can tell from the look on the zebra's face?

  6. Just having actually read your profile (and I'm playing Stardust right now, I see that one of your favourite books includes one of my favourite lines - she was small and delicately put together, but she looked durable.

  7. Thinking of growth figures, you wouldn't want to depend on predictions. Very chancy things.

    Is there actually a hump on the Zebra in Honey Lane End? That sounds dangerous as well as unlikely.

  8. I've never actually seen a humped zebra, Mig, I'd die happy if I did. But the roadsign does warn us to look out for it - drive up from Tilehurst Road to the Bath Road (past the decaying Meadway precinct) if you don't believe me.

  9. Just belatedly took your comment on board, Z, as I coincidentally (?) decided to reread Chandler the other day. Halfway through my fave, The Lady In The Lake. What a genius!