The Toucan crossing derives its name from the concept that the crossing is designed for types of user. Both pedestrians and cyclists can cross at a Toucan crossing and it functions in a similar way to Pelican and Puffin crossings. There are however a few essential differences.
The rules for cyclists usually dictate that they should dismount from their bikes when crossing the road, particularly at points where pedestrians also cross the road. Typically, they would become a pedestrian for the time it takes to cross the road, getting back on their bikes once across and it safe to start using the road on the other side.
The pedestrian and cyclist lights are on the near side of the crossing in the same fashion as a Puffin crossing, unlike the Pelican crossing where they are on the far side. The toucan crossing is also wider than the Puffin and Pelican crossings. It is 4 metres wide in contrast to the 2.8 metres in width of the other two. This enables a cyclist to legally cross the road while still mounted on the bicycle. In countryside town or extra suburban areas there may be occasions where a person on horseback may need to use the crossing as well.
These crossings require extra caution. The driver is not only required to be aware of the pedestrians that are crossing, including those with infirmities, and the possibility of children dashing out suddenly, but also cyclists, who themselves may have to avoid a pedestrian that makes a sudden change in movement. Additionally, the complexity of users crossing on horseback, especially if there are other pedestrians at the crossing means that a number of possible complex situations can occur at this crossing.
Most Toucan crossings will not have a flashing amber light, but a solid one instead. This light still means to remain cautious and when the crossing appears to be clear, that you may proceed with caution. It is important to remember when proceeding to be on the look out for a different number of users, as it may startle you to suddenly have to stop for a horse.
These crossing are also typically marked by the preceding zig zag lines, however depending on the area and the reasoning behind the particular crossing there may not be the iron railings present, which however are the norm. While the Toucan crossing is more often designed specifically for pedestrian and cycle crossing, there are some occasions when you will see a crossing where it has a pedestrian and a horse. This is because it will be considered a bridle crossing, more often than not because it serves a bridle way or path of some sort.
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Pegasus crossings can be seen outside race courses and are slightly different to the bridle crossings that imitate the cyclist right of way of a Toucan crossing. The most obvious difference is that the button for the user is higher up enabling a mounted rider to access the button without having to dismount from their ride. These crossings are very common in equine areas in Scotland and urban areas which use mounted police patrols.
When approaching a Toucan crossing be alert for a number of other road users. If the light is amber and you cannot see who is crossing or has crossed the road be extra cautious. The cyclist, horse and rider or pedestrian may be obstructed from view by a wall or even an unusual piece of street furniture.
You are not permitted to park on the zig zag lines that approach the crossing, and in the event that you do, you can be sure that your vehicle will be towed away quickly.