Following the example of Drachten, a town in Holland which was able to reduce accidents at an intersection from 34 over 4 years to 2 over years, Portishead removed traffic lights from a major intersection where traffic delays were getting out of control and sparking protests from residents.
This tactic which is called “naked streets” was initially started as a pilot to see if it would help, the initiative became permanent after they saw that traffic times for vehicles fell while pedestrian use increased and there was no increase in accidents.
The tactic essentially makes all actors on the road equal with no clear right of way. This means that pedestrians, cyclists and drivers have to negotiate with one another, which naturally leads to more careful driving and crossing.
The money saved from not having to maintain the traffic lights is also nothing to scoff at.