A makeover is underway on Britain's roads with the introduction of the UK's first 'cow crossing,' championing native animals over the traditional zebra crossing we've used for the past 70 years.
From today you can see cow print crossings instead of zebra stripes crossings popping up in Somerset. Yeo Valley Organic, Britain's largest organic dairy brand, based in the county has launched the new moo-vement with the support of the UK's largest motoring organisation the AA.
Dr Raif Lopol, AA Charitable Trust road safety expert, said: "It is logical to switch zebra crossings to cow crossings in the UK as the cow is a native animal, unlike the zebra. It will though require the Highway Code section on vulnerable road users to be updated yet again. We can talk about safety until the cows come home and fully support this initiative to keep traffic moo-ving."
Yeo Valley Organic also commissioned research through the Panettone Colour Institute* that found when it comes to colour combination eyes prefer black and white, which results in the brain interpreting messages quicker vs harsh glares of colour. What's more, research also found in rare situations zebra crossings can create an optical illusion called "razzle dazzle" due to the synchronised line pattern causing driver confusion. The cow crossing is immune to this due to the irregular pattern.
It's hoped the move to cow print crossings will shine a spotlight on the much-loved native cow and champion organic dairy farmers in the UK. As well as reminding pedestrians of the importance of Britain's organic dairy farmers.
Yeo Valley Organic owner Tim Mead said "We're udderly passionate about our pedigree British Friesian cows – which is why we're calling for 'cow crossings' to replace the traditionally named zebra crossings. Let's fly the flag for British organic dairy farmers across the UK and champion home-grown good food."
The first zebra crossing was installed in Slough in 1951, to enhance pedestrian safety and indicate where pedestrians have the right of way.
The UK's first 'cow crossing' can be viewed by visitors to Yeo Valley Organic Garden and Farm in Blagdon, North Somerset.
*Disclaimer – The Panettone Colour Institute does not exist and no research has been conducted. Happy April Fool's Day from the Yeo Valley Organic team!
Although cow crossings will not be rolled out across the UK, you can view a real 'cow crossing' exclusively at the Yeo Valley Organic Garden and Farm in Blagdon, Somerset.