I've recently encountered the term "Pedestrianised Zone" (as part of the name of a pedestrian zone, as in "X Street Pedestrianised Zone") and thought there's something weird/grammatically wrong about it.

Wikipedia suggests that in BrE, pedestrianised zone = pedestrian zone. But according to www.gov.uk as well as images of road signs in the UK, "pedestrian zone" is the official term.

I have no problem with using "pedestrianised" in a sentence:

That zone's pedestrianised.
There're quite a few pedestrianised zones in this area.

I dunno why, but instinctively I cannot agree with using "pedestrianised" in the name of a pedestrian zone.

Is my instinct right or wrong?

  • 2
    They may use the noun-turned-verb-turned-adjective form to emphasize that it used to be a vehicular zone but has recently been turned into a pedestrian zone.
    – John Feltz
    Oct 9, 2016 at 18:26
  • My instinct is that we use both forms in the UK. We have lots of streets that were once vehicular, but have been converted to pedestrian use only. These ones might more logically be called pedestrianised. Ones that were designed as pedestrian zones, e.g. in newly built shopping precincts are more aptly called pedestrian zones. But I am not sure that town planners, engineers, police officers etc necessarily always get the distinction between the two right, let alone ordinary members of the public.
    – WS2
    Oct 9, 2016 at 23:04

2 Answers 2


Your citation from gov.uk is perfectly correct, the official term for such a zone is definitely pedestrian.

The phrasing "pedestrian" implies that a zone is explicitly for pedestrians only, usually by a governmental decree.

On the other hand, pedestrianised implies that it has become pedestrianised in a process of refurbishment or conversion. The -ise suffix implies this conversion, usually over time.


added to adjectives to form verbs meaning to cause to become

(Cambridge Dictionary)

As an aside, I'd also like to mention that York City Council call their pedestrianised zones footstreets, from the word footpath.

  • Technically correct maybe, but I've never heard these called anything other than pedestrianised zones or streets. I would understand pedestrian zone, but it would take me a second Nov 14, 2016 at 22:28

You're not wrong. The word pedestrianise (pedestrianize) means something specific:

: to convert (as a street) into a walkway or mall [M-W Unabridged]

As noted in the comment, a plan is in the works to pedestrianise Oxford Street in London:

All traffic including buses and taxis will be banned from the shopping street -- one of the most famous in the world.

The UK Department for Transport's Know Your Traffic Signs pamphlet prefers the term pedestrian zone for existing areas where vehicular access is restricted or prohibited.

  • This is good but do you have a British example? After all, that is what the OP is looking for. Oct 9, 2016 at 21:21
  • @BladorthinTheGrey - Oxford Street to be pedestrianised by 2020 - bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-36791485
    – user66974
    Oct 9, 2016 at 21:23

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