Lib Dem cllr spearheads calls for ‘rainbow crossings’ on Hertfordshire roads

The Abbots Langley county councillor proposed the idea in a motion that was put forward to the latest meeting of the county council

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 8:59 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 9:02 am

Liberal Democrats in Hertfordshire are hoping to bring a splash of colour to the county’s roads – and to send a clear message about diversity.

‘Rainbow’ or ‘progress pride’ crossings have already been installed by a number of councils across the country, in recognition of LGBTQ+ communities.

The distinctive ‘rainbow crossings’ feature lines in the six colours of the rainbow flag – a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride.

Progress pride flag (C) Shutterstock

Meanwhile ‘progress pride crossings’ also include chevron stripes in the colours of black, brown, pink, pale blue and white – representing people of colour in the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the trans community, and those living with HIV/AIDS.

Cllr Sara Bedford says ‘progress pride’ crossings would make it clear that Hertfordshire was a county of tolerance and respect.

And she is leading Liberal Democrat calls for 10 or more of the crossings to be installed in Hertfordshire.

“The crossings look colourful – and they will encourage discussion,” she told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

“I hope they would be a discussion point – and make it clear to everyone that Hertfordshire is a place not just of opportunity but of tolerance and respect for people of diverse backgrounds.

“And that’s not just in terms of sexuality but also gender and racial heritage.”

Sara stresses that road safety would be the primary consideration in the siting of the crossings.

And countering those who may be dismissive of the idea, she says: “I know there are people who will say this is ‘gesture politics’.

“But there’s nothing wrong in a publicity campaign that encourages people to think more about how they treat others – and to make it clear to our diverse communities that that are all respected for who they are.”

The Abbots Langley county councillor proposed the idea in a motion that was put forward to the latest meeting of the county council (July).

And that motion specifically proposed that one or more of these crossings be painted in each of the county’s 10 district areas as soon as possible.

“‘Progress Pride’ crossings with rainbow colours and chevrons to mark trans and non-binary people, people of colour and those living with HIV/AIDS would show our respect for the diversity of Hertfordshire,” it stated.

“Officers are therefore requested to bring forward plans to repaint one or more such crossings in each District to reflect this as soon as possible.”

The motion was not formally debated at the meeting. But it will now be referred to a meeting of the council’s highways and transport cabinet panel for consideration.

Three Rivers District Council – where Sara Bedford is also a councillor – has already drawn-up plans for two ‘rainbow crossings’ to be installed on their land outside the council’s Three Rivers House and at Leavesden Country Park.