When there were pedestrian crossings (Belisha beacon type) the traffic was supposed to give way as soon as a pedestrian was on the crossing. The pedestrians had priority. Most of these have now been replaced by light controlled crossings. However pedestrians now has to wait for the traffic - no longer does the traffic have to quickly respond for pedestrians.
This is the usual setting of a light controlled crossing. A pedestrian pushes the button. If there isn't any road traffic the lights respond quickly, so there was not really any need for them anyway.
If there is road traffic, then the lights wait for a gap before changing. If a gap in the traffic doesn't appear then the lights will change after a specified time. This is just one more example prioritising road traffic, 'carried out for our own safety' so that we don't notice the change in priority.
It's a great pity the paper didn't propose that motor traffic would have to pay to proceed across pedestrian crossings.