Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has announced a plan to install touchless technology at six pedestrian crossings in the borough.
It is taking the step in a trial funded by the Welsh Government to develop sustainable travel measures in response to Covid-19.
Signals at the crossings, at six of the borough’s busiest crossing points, will be activated by pedestrians moving their hand under a sensor instead of pushing a button. The council said this technology is more reliable and efficient than the current button activation and will help to reduce the spread of Covid-19 through touching surfaces.
The trial will begin next week and run for four weeks, with stickers and signage at each crossing to inform pedestrians. If no issues arise the technology could be implemented at all the signal controlled crossings in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, leader of the council and cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “The technology will help reduce the spread of the virus during the Covid-19 pandemic, as we know it can live on surfaces for some time.
“But it also has other important advantages for the future – including that it is more reliable, and also provides a solution for people who experience difficulty with mobility and may find it difficult to reach a button in order to cross the road safely.
“This scheme is part of the council’s commitment to increasing local walking and cycling provision and making it more accessible to everyone.
“The council is hosting a public consultation about active travel in Rhondda Cynon Taf, as we invite residents’ views up until February 12. This will help us update our integrated network map, outlining the proposed active travel routes to be created in the next 15 years, to be submitted to Welsh Government this year.”
Image from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council