Why did the TV presenter cross the road? To get to the other side – but only after waiting for more than two minutes…
Adrian Chiles has named a York junction as the worst in Britain for pedestrians to cross.
As the man who has fronted everything from The One Show to Match of the Day, plus many BBC documentaries and a Radio 5 Live show, Adrian gets about a bit.
And in all his travels, he’s never encountered a more infuriating road intersection.
He wrote in his Guardian column this week: “I spend a lot of time in York. The walk into town from my mother-in-law’s house takes me across what I believe to be Britain’s worst traffic lights for pedestrians.
“If you want to experience these lights for yourself, they are the ones near Micklegate, where Blossom Street intersects with Queen Street and Nunnery Lane. If they were operating like this in the ninth century, it is no wonder the Vikings were so ratty by the time they entered the city.
“As you wait to cross Queen Street, wondering if the green man will ever show himself again, your plans for the day wither away, along with your hopes and dreams.”
The wait sometimes leads him to emit “a low groan of sheer, anguished despair”
Adrian has even timed it. He clocked the duration between green men “as 2 minutes 7.39 seconds, and the time with the green man at around 10 seconds”.
Given that “I know of no other city so consistently jam-packed with people and cars” Adrian acknowledges organising them can’t be easy. But wanting answers, he emailed City of York Council.
And he received a reply from transport manager Christian Wood.
From that the broadcaster learned “at busy times, the space between pedestrian phases can be as long as 2 minutes and 40 seconds – the longest in York. The problem is that the junction generally can’t cope with the volume of traffic.”
He finishes by noting that “a major consultation on transport in the city is imminent. I hereby volunteer to stand by that crossing with a clipboard, garnering pedestrians’ views in two-minute sessions before waving them on their way”.