Puffin crossing

Puffin crossings make crossing the road easier and safer. They have the red/ green man signals on the same side of the road as you are waiting to cross, allowing you to watch these signals and traffic at the same time.


Before you cross the road at a Puffin crossing, look at the red/ green Man box. It will be on your side of the road, usually to your right as you face the road.


  • if the green man is showing, make sure the traffic has stopped in both directions before crossing the road
  • if the red man is showing, do not cross the road
  • push the button on the red/ green man box
  • make sure the indicator lights around the button lights up - the indicator lights stay lit until the box shows the green man
  • if the indicator lights goes out, push the button again and wait for the green man


When the green man shows and the traffic has stopped in both directions, cross the road with care.

Don’t worry if you can’t see the red/ green man signals when crossing. The traffic lights will stay red until you reach the other side of the road, allowing you to cross the road in safety.

How Puffin crossings work

Most Puffin crossings have sensors on top of the traffic lights, although some may be buried in the ground in the waiting area.

The sensors can spot if you are waiting to cross. This is why it's important to stand where you can clearly see the red/ green man box.

Other sensors can spot if you are already crossing the road. Drivers waiting at the Puffin crossing will only be allowed to continue once you have finished crossing the road.

Benefits of Puffin crossings

Safer for pedestrians

  • the sensors that see you at a Puffin crossing also control the traffic lights making sure you have enough time to cross the road safely
  • because there is no flashing traffic light sequence, drivers can no longer start to move until you have finished crossing
  • you can see the red/ green man box and watch traffic approaching at the same time
  • partially-sighted pedestrians can see the red/ green man signals more easily than a signal on the other side of the road
  • audible signals may be included at standalone crossings to show that the green man is being shown, where there may be a number of visually-impaired pedestrians

Better for drivers

  • traffic lights change to green as soon as the crossing is clear, so drivers will no longer be stopped unnecessarily if there are no pedestrians on the road
  • traffic won’t be stopped if pedestrians push the button, then change their mind and walk away from the crossing
  • look out for more and more Puffin crossings on streets and roads - they all look the same and they all work in the same way, improving safety while reducing delays

Information leaflet and poster

You can find an information leaflet and poster about puffin crossings on the following link:  

Any queries

If you have any queries about the operation of a Puffin crossing please contact your local DfI Roads office.

More useful links

Share this page


Your comments are anonymous and can’t be responded to - if you would like a reply, use the feedback form.

Your comments
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum. Don't include personal or financial information.