Where have all the zebra crossings gone?

Is it just me, or are zebra crossings going out of fashion, being neglected and therefore becoming more dangerous for pedestrians?

I can only remember one new zebra crossing being installed in North Tyneside ever since I moved up here in 1987, and this has been totally outnumbered by more and more pelican-type crossings with their different types of traffic lights.

I find that as a motorist I am getting too used to these types of crossings with the result that I hardly notice zebra crossings until I am right on top of them, which must be very disconcerting for pedestrians about to cross the road.

It does not help, of course, that most of them are in a poor state of repair, with orange belisha beacons faded to off-white and the black and white stripes on the road hardly noticeable in many cases.

At night, the floodlights above the zebras in Whitley Bay obviously help them get noticed, but this is no use during the day.

So what is the answer? They should either be phased out altogether or properly maintained.

In Norfolk I have seen zebra crossings with bright orange lights encircling the orange belisha beacons, like a halo, which makes them stand out much better even in daylight.

Surely this idea could be adopted here as well.

Tony Colwell

Whitley Bay