Is this the most PC council in Britain? Green man on pedestrian crossing becomes gender neutral 'green figure'
By JR on Monday, January 02, 2012
It is the symbol that has helped us cross the road for decades - a striding green man.
But for one council the term appears to be a little too gender-specific. Lincolnshire County Council is introducing new signs at pelican crossings in Boston telling pedestrians to 'cross with the green figure' in a move branded politically correct.
Alan Bell, senior engineer at the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, said: 'We need to do all we can to help keep people safe on the county’s roads. 'These signs remind people to cross only when the green figure is lit.' He added that the wording of the signs varies across the county.
While some crossings retain the traditional green man, the crossing at John Adams way in Boston has been resigned, now asking baffled residents to 'cross with the green figure'.
Boston borough councillor Ossy Snell said: 'It seems a little bit like it’s seen as sexist. Women might think men are controlling if a green man tells them to cross the road.
'There’s so many of these silly things that people are bringing up, which nobody has ever thought about being offensive to anybody when they were brought in.'
Local residents reacted with confusion at the decision. Geoff Bradley, 64, said he could not understand the move. 'This must have cost money to do,' said the retired metal worker. 'They must have better things to do than waste our money on needless changes.
'It can’t have offended anyone, it’s a picture of a man, so people called it the green man, it makes no sense at all not to keep calling it that.'
Anne Bristow, who uses the crossing every day, was perplexed by the decision. 'I didn’t see a problem with it,' said the 30-year-old bank worker. 'I cross the street with the same people here every day and no one else had a problem with it, I can’t imagine why anyone would have a problem with it.
'You hear people talking about political correctness going mad and that has always seemed like an overstatement before but this really seems like it has.'