HC Deb 10 June 1959 vol 606 cc962-3
10. Mr. Russell

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he will consider introducing, at suitable road junctions, the system whereby drivers may turn left, after first stopping, even when the traffic signals are red, provided priority is given to pedestrians, in view of the success of similar systems abroad.

Mr. Nugent

We consider that filtration against the red light should not be allowed, except on a green arrow signal. In our opinion general filtration against the red light makes it impossible to give adequate protection to pedestrians.

Mr. Russell

Is my hon. Friend aware that this system works in some other countries? For instance, it is used in New York and Paris, except that the filter is to the right and not to the left, of course. In any case, will he expedite the use of the green filter in cases where he thinks it would work?

Mr. Nugent

Yes, Sir. We always have that point under consideration. Where we can, we do use the green filter. But there are divided opinions about automatic filtering in other countries and it is by no means generally thought to be good.

Mr. J. T. Price

Will the hon. Gentleman resist all attempts to introduce this method of filtering at road junctions? Are not conditions sufficiently bewildering already for pedestrians who already do not know when they may safely cross a road, even when traffic signals are against vehicles? Is he aware that if another complication is introduced, it will be quite beyond the comprehension of pedestrians, particularly elderly people, who often flounder about on crossings even when they think that it is safe to cross when the lights are against the traffic? Will he resist this suggestion as only adding to the dangers to pedestrians?

Mr. Nugent

I think that on the whole it is best to make certain by not following this practice.