The zebra crossing on the junction of Clarendon Road and Palmerston Road has had LED panels installed in the road surface to make it more visible to drivers and encourage more people to use it at night.
The new lights were funded by Colas and have been launched to coincide with the We Shine Portsmouth event which features artistic light installations across the city.
Cllr Lynne Stagg, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Traffic & Transportation, said: “We’re always looking for new ways to improve road safety and I’m delighted we’re the first place in the UK to use this innovative new technology. We chose this crossing because it’s very busy particularly at night with all the bars and restaurants, we want to make the crossing more visible and encourage more people to cross there safely.”
The council and its roads contractor Colas is working with the Department for Transport to ensure the new lighting system can be used in this country for the first time. Now it is in place, use of the crossing will be monitored and, if it makes a positive difference, lights could be added to more crossings in the city.
Ian Gibson, director of asset contracting at Colas Ltd, said: “We are delighted Portsmouth City Council is leading the way in innovative solutions to improve the road safety and street scene by using the Flowell system developed by Colas. This is another demonstration of the collaborative works between the council and Colas brought by the PFI project for the benefit of Portsmouth residents and visitors. It is a first in the UK and we are looking forward to sharing the results of this trial within the industry.”
The new addition to the crossing links with the council’s work to improve road safety in the city. In particular it supports the annual Be Bright Be Seen campaign encouraging people to make sure they have light-coloured or reflective clothing and lights when cycling or walking at night.
Cllr Stagg added: “We always tell people to make themselves as visible as possible, it’s a really simple way to improve safety and lighting up this crossing is a great example of how that can work.”