Toucan Crossings (Technical Information Note No. 18 (TIN 18))

  • Published: Sustrans, 2011
  • Authors: Sustrans
  • Date Added: 05 Mar 2013
  • Last Update: 18 Jul 2013
  • Format: pdf


This note discusses a number of issues associated with the design of Toucan crossings and in particular the conversion of Pelican and Puffin crossings to Toucan control.


Description of options for cyclist crossings

Key Findings:

  • If more walking and cycling is to be encouraged, pedestrians and cyclists must feel that they are as important as motor traffic and not second class users of the road network; crossing timings will need to reflect this.

  • Toucans that have a long delay before giving a green to cyclists once a demand has been registered cause frustration and lead to frequent attempts to cross before the green light appears. Where timings can be adjusted to reduce crossing delays the highway authority should be encouraged to do so.

  • The operation of the crossing can be further improved by advance cycle detection through the inclusion of loops or above ground detection on the approaches to a Toucan, in addition to the push buttons, positioned such that the lights change as the cyclist arrives there.

  • Where a new signalled crossing is to be provided at a location on a cycle route that previously had none, a Toucan should be provided.

  • Where cyclists are expected to cross at a location that already has a Pelican or Puffin, the default Sustrans position is that the existing crossing should be upgraded to Toucan control.

  • In any situation where Pelican / Puffin control might be retained at a crossing on a cycle route it is essential that:

    • A cycle track / shared use route is provided up to each side of the crossing; and,
    • Cyclists Dismount signs are not erected.
  • Each situation must be assessed on a case by case basis and decided following careful consideration of the operational issues.


Cyclists, Toucan crossings.


Provides useful information about cyclist crossings.