What is a Toucan Crossing UK? Rules and Differences
8 mins read

What is a Toucan Crossing UK? Rules and Differences

Toucan crossings are a type of pedestrian crossing used in the UK and Northern Ireland. As a learner driver you will need to understand the various types of pedestrian crossings in order to pass a driving test.

A driving test route may encompass various pedestrian crossings, including a toucan crossing. You can be tested on your knowledge of toucan crossings on driving theory tests.

In this article, we will cover all the important things about the Toucan Crossing in the UK.

What Are Toucan Crossings?

what are toucan crossings

The term ‘toucan’ is derived from the French word for ‘cross’, meaning ‘to cross’ or ‘to allow’.

What is toucan crossing?

A toucan is a type of road crossing where both pedestrians and cyclists can cross at the same time.

These crossings are equipped with smart sensor technology that detects when a pedestrian is crossing the road or when a cyclist is waiting to cross.
In some cases, toucan crossings can even be described as ‘smart’ crossings as they are able to detect when a pedestrian is on the road or a cyclist is at the crossing point.

The term toucan was chosen for two reasons.

Firstly, toucans are a well-known bird.

Secondly, the toucan is pronounced toucan, which means two-can.

If you have been wondering who may use toucan crossings, then it can be stated that both pedestrians and cyclists can use the same toucan crossing.

Why is a toucan crossing different from other crossings?

Well, it is because toucan crossing can be used by cyclists as well.

However, there is a big difference between the two crossings.

On a pelican crossing, there will usually be a green bike next to a green walking man, but on toucan crossings, the green signal will be seen by both pedestrians and cyclists at the same time.

Toucan crossing sign – A toucan crossing road sign is a triangle with a red edge and a dotted line. The main image of the sign is a silhouette of a black person crossing a dotted line.

Street signs for toucan crossings are commonly – though not always – used to alert drivers of a pedestrian crossing in front of them.

Keep an eye out for toucan crossing road signs on your driving test. They provide plenty of warning ahead of time.

Toucan Vs Pelican Vs Puffin Crossings In The UK

There are a couple of differences when all the crossings are considered. Here is a brief of how Toucan crossing is different from puffin and pelican crossing.

Since zebra crossing is widely used mostly worldwide, we will also give an insight into the zebra crossing UK and how it is different there.

Puffin vs Toucan Crossings:

Both toucan crossings and puffin crossings utilize the same technology.

The main difference between a puffin crossing and a toucan crossing is that a puffin crossing is restricted to pedestrians, while a toucan crossing clearly allows bicycles to cross.

A toucan crossing is wider than a puffin crossing to accommodate bicycles, with a standard difference of four feet.

Pelican vs Toucan Crossings:

Toucan crossings are smarter than pelican crossings because they have instruction lights and no flashing lights. They’re on the same side as pedestrians and aren’t intended for cyclists.

They also don’t have a ‘flashing’ period, unlike pelican crossing lights, meaning drivers can’t drive when traffic lights turn amber.

Both toucan crossings and pelican crossings have a yellow box with a black box and a button that you can press in order to wait for a signal.

Zebra vs Toucan Crossings:

A zebra cross is a type of pedestrian crossing that uses white stripes with amber beacons to mark the crossing point. It works on the principle that vehicles slow down as they get closer to the crossing point so that pedestrians can cross.

It doesn’t use any advanced technology, such as the toucan crossing, and there aren’t any lights that change direction for pedestrians or cyclists at the crossing point. A zebra is not designed for cyclists, although cyclists use them.

Most toucan crossings are about 4m (13ft) wide, while pelican crossings and puffin crossings are about 2.8m (9ft).

Pegasus crossings are also called Equestrian crossings. Pegasus crossings allow horse riders to cross the road, typically on bridleway. In some cases, there may also be another crossing next to it to allow foot or cycle traffic.

Pegasus crossings are similar to other types of crossings, such as Toucans or Puffins. They are fitted with sensors that detect when people are waiting to cross, or when they are already crossing.

They are much wider than other types of crossings to allow enough space for the horses to cross.

This means that the black & yellow box is fitted higher than any other type of crossing. This is so that a rider can press the button, without having to get off their horse.

How To Use Toucan Crossings

There are specific rules to use the toucan crossings which are as follows:

Cyclists And Pedestrians

  • Press the “Crossing Demand” button on all users and wait for the green light.
  • The “Single Red Man” signal applies to pedestrians and cyclists.
  • However, when it’s safe to cross the road, the “Green Man” signal and the “Bicycle Picture” signal will come on at the same time.
  • If you’re on a bicycle, slow down and pay attention to pedestrians.


At Toucan crossings, drivers should treat the crossing in the same way as they would Pelican or Puffin. When a cyclist joins the road at a Toucan crossing, drivers should give them the space they need to be safe.

Toucan Crossing Lights

A toucan crossing is a type of road crossing. It is a road crossing where pedestrians and cyclists are required to cross at the same time.

The crossing is activated by a beeping sound. The crossings are illuminated with red or green people or bikes. The red person tells pedestrians not to cross, while the green person tells them when it’s safe to cross.

The crossings are activated by black and yellow boxes underneath the screens. Pedestrians must wait for the green person and bike to light up before they can cross.

Most toucan crossings are installed with a timer to make sure they work at certain times. Most toucan crossings are part of a planned cycle route and allow cyclists to cross whenever it is safe to do so.

Older toucan crossings don’t always display the next person next to them.

This is the most crucial part of the toucan crossing operation for those who want to pass the driving theory test. There are four possible toucan crossing light instructions for vehicles.

  • Static red: stop and wait
  • Red: continue to stop
  • Red and amber together: proceed to stop
  • Green: go
  • Amber: prepare for a possible red

Related Content: Marked Crosswalk Mastery: Your Road Safety Guide

Bottom Line

Toucan crossings use smart sensor technology to allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross at the same time. Toucan crossings are wider than pelican crossings and have instruction lights with no flashing lights.

Unlike pelican crossings, toucan crossings are not designed for cyclists. There are specific rules for both pedestrians and cyclists when using a toucan crossing.

Pedestrians must press the “Crossing Demand” button and wait for the green light before crossing. A toucan crossing is part of the planned cycle route and has four possible light instructions.

These are static red, red, amber together, green, and Amber.

You May Like Also:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *