Belisha Beacon Crossings

From Historical Hastings

The flashing yellow globe on a black and white pole that marks pedestrian crossings were named after the Minister of Transport, Leslie Hore-Belisha, who in 1934 added the beacon to pedestrian crossings that hitherto had been marked by studs in the road (the white and black road markings were added later, with the globe being made to flash in 1952[1]). The first installation of such crossings in Hastings was at the junctions at White Rock and London Road on the main A259. On the 31st of October, 1934, the ten lights on the junction between Robertson Street and White Rock/Carlisle Parade comprising the crossing were switched on by the Chief Constable, Mr. J. Bell and the deputy borough engineer, Mr. H. R. Jack. The first car that passed through the lights, obeying the signalling perfectly, was reportedly a red saloon, followed shortly by a group of buses. The Chief Constable and engineer then proceeded to the bottom of London Road where that set of lights were also activated[2].

Following a number of fatalities to schoolchildren crossing Mount Pleasant Road from Mount Pleasant Schools, parents conducted a 'school strike' which led to a crossing being installed outside the school in May of 1937[3].

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