To celebrate this weekend’s Manchester Pride Festival, some of the pedestrian traffic signals in the center of the UK city will have their standard images replaced with a range of diversity symbols by Siemens ITS.
Inspired by a similar set of traffic signals that was produced for the Bournemouth Pride festival earlier this year and London Pride in 2016, Siemens Mobility Limited’s Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) division in the UK has created four special signal heads to show the company’s support for major diversity events across the country.
Siemens has designed and manufactured the unique signals that have been created to represent lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) relationships, using the widely recognized gender symbols. The company has changed 34 of the traditional ‘green-man’ symbols in the city center to different diversity symbols, with these remaining in place for the duration of the bank holiday weekend (August 24-27).
Siemens was originally awarded the city’s traffic signals installation and maintenance contract by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) in 2011, and the company has installed these new traffic signals free of charge. Siemens PLC in the UK has an active LGBT+ community called Spark, which works together with the company’s global Pride network of employees. Siemens has supported several other diversity festivals in Europe, with LGBT+ signal heads deployed in Munich and Berlin in Germany, and Vienna in Austria.
“We are proud to have worked so closely with Manchester Pride and TfGM on this initiative, and to show our support for the festival in a fun and engaging way by installing these LGBT+ signal designs,” said Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK. “Diversity and inclusivity is very important to Siemens, and this is a great example of a simple idea of supporting Pride and getting all people in Manchester to engage in a conversation about LGBT+ inclusion.”
Bob Morris, TfGW’s chief operating officer, commented, “One of Greater Manchester’s greatest assets is its diversity. We are proud, in conjunction with our traffic signals contractor Siemens, to transform some of the traffic lights around the Gay Village for Pride. Hopefully they’ll give visitors and residents a special welcome as they enjoy the festivities over the Big Weekend.”
Greater Manchester’s LGBT adviser, Carl Austin-Behan, added, “These traffic signals are a way to show positive visibility that our great city can demonstrate that everyone in Greater Manchester is accepted for who they are. It’s such an important and beautiful message for LGBT people across Greater Manchester and those that are visiting for Manchester Pride. It’s great to get these messages across in a fun and simple way that can make such a big impact.”
Rob Cookson, deputy CEO of the LGBT Foundation, said, “We are delighted to be working with Siemens, who will be providing support for our Community Café during Pride. Making the traffic lights inclusive is also amazing and shows Siemens providing strong leadership and visibility in the field of LGBT equalities.”