Community celebrates road safety win as St John’s Wood gets first 3D zebra crossing in the UK

Westminster councillors Tim Mitchell and Robert Rigby joined by schoolchildren from Barrow Hill Juni

Westminster councillors Tim Mitchell and Robert Rigby joined by schoolchildren from Barrow Hill Junior School on the new 3D crossing in St John's Wood High Street. Picture: Westminster Council - Credit: Archant

Road safety campaigners in St John’s Wood are celebrating after an innovative three-dimensional zebra crossing was installed in the high street.

The crossing, which is designed so road-users see something substantial in the road, is to be trialled at the junction with Wellington Place, outside of Barrow Hill Junior School.

The NW8 mums parents’ group were, along with the school, a driving force in seeing the zebra crossing improved.

Its chair, Karin Thyselius, told the Wood&Vale: “I used to sit in the window of Carluccio’s before it closed. I’ve seen a lot of accidents at the crossing, but just countless near-misses, too. “It’s insane. Drivers just go crazy. There’s the St John’s Wood Churchgrounds just over the road, and it’s been so difficult to cross safely, particularly for pregant women, mums with young children, but also the rest of the community. Older people, people from the hospitals with zimmer frames or similar.

“This will hopefully see people slow down, if they think there’s something in the road. As a driver, I drove through on Saturday – it seems to work well.”

Barrow Hill headteacher David Tomlinson said: “We’re pleased Westminster City Council has acted on our concerns. Although St John’s Wood High Street is safe on the whole, we feel some motorists could drive that little bit slower and we hope this innovative response works well.”

The St John’s Wood Society welcomed the scheme too. Its planning spokesperson Christine Cowdray told this newspaper: “We were very concerned about safety at this busy junction and supported NW8Mums who initiated the request for a crossing at this point. We’re delighted to have the first 3D crossing in the country!”

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The council’s highways chief said the new “crossing could be the future of road safety” and added: “Far from being simply a brilliant innovation that makes the ordinary look eye-grabbing and modern – the 3D effect helps drivers to see the crossing easier.”

The new junction will be trialled for nine to 12 months, Westminster claim a similar scheme in New Delhi, India, has shown that average speeds dropped by as much as 40 per cent – from 50kph to 30kph– in areas where 3D crossings have been used.