PRIAN and the Civic Voice are passionate about empowering local civic societies to improve their streets and have the ability to help your organisation.
We have technical expertise that may be helpful in improving the appearance of your town, village or locality. Often by simply removing street clutter, the real character of a street or whole area can be improved.
Reducing unnessary road signs safely- Department for Transport
“ I urge other councils to think about
where traffic signs are placed
and whether they are needed at all.”
Creative thinking and skilled use of highway regulations are recommended to highway engineers to reduce the number of road signs on our streets.
Some 9,000 signs are thought to have been removed but more can be done. Areas and councils vary. More progressive areas are complimented for reducing street clutter and reducing the costs of installation and maintenance in times when budgets are constantly being challenged. Councils mentioned in particular are London, Hampshire and Somerset.
The government plans to give councils more discretion over where they place signs, with new rules expected in 2014. Training will be required for engineers and safety auditors to feel confident with such initiatives and guidance.
The Department of Transport review highlighted councils in England which they say are "leading the way" on removing superfluous signage.
Link to BBC news article
Link to Telegraph article
Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles & Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond urge councils to remove unnecessary street clutter
Eric Pickles has said that traffic signs and street clutter damage the character of towns and villages. Streets and junctions with lots of signs can also confuse drivers.
Department for Transport is reviewing policy to help councils reduce the clutter.
Established schemes in London's The Strand and High Street Kensington have proved that less clutter can also be safe. Rural villages like Bibury in the Cotswolds and Clifton in Cumbria are schemes of reducing street clutter safely with the backing of the Department for Transport.
Mr Pickles said: "Our streets are losing their English character. We are being overrun by scruffy signs, bossy bollards, patchwork paving and railed off roads, wasting taxpayers' money that could be better spent on fixing potholes or keeping council tax down. We need to 'cut the clutter'.
Clifton village in Cumbria is on the major trunk route of the A6. It is used by large farming vehciels and is an emergncy route alternative for the M6.
The low cost calming scheme has slowed traffic throught the village and restored the village rural quality. Simple and low cost methods include, planters, reduced white lines and built out kerbs. Drivers are encouraged to slow and the character is enhanced with soft landscapling and simple signage at the village entrances.
The scheme complys to Department for Transport Guidance and is featured in their document, LTN 1/08 'Traffic Management and Streetscape'
Friends of the Lake District website: www.fld.org.uk
Link to scheme overview
Civic Voice: the new voice for civic society movement
Following the closure of the Civic Trust and much consultation, Civic Voice has taken over the mantel to be a voice for the many civic and amenity societies. The organisation has been nurtured by National Trust and English Heritage to take the message forward.
With support from David Cameron and Nick Clegg for the Love Local campaign, they are well on the way to achieving lasting improvements.
Top 5 things people love about where they live:
1. Lots of open space and gardens
2. Having a natural setting and views
3. A friendly and spirited community
4. Well cared for historic buildings
5. A range of cultural and community activities
For more information
Griff Rhys Jones, speaking on his passion for streets.
At the Civic Society Initiative's recent event to support local societies with a unified voice
How can you improve your streets? Look at our two pictures. One shows what, sadly, is a typical cluttered street.
The second, a sketch of the same street shows that when clutter is removed,
the effect is positive and dramatic.
With a unified approach, smaller low cost improvements allow the character
of a place to shine through.
A typical cluttered street.
Signs, paving, workmanship could all be improved.
The character of the town is overshadowed by the clutter.
Before picture shows a typically cluttered street
The second, a sketch of the same street shows that when clutter is removed, the effect is positive and dramatic.
The area is now a much more pleasant for residents and visitors.
The difference between the second and the first sketches are:
• No railings or guard rails
• Neater traffic light arrangements.
For more information follow link to Quality & Design
• Far less traffic signs.
For more information follow link to reducing the need for Keep Left signs
• Street lights fixed to buildings, rather than on lamp columns
• Neater litter bins
• Neater direction signs, fixed neatly to buildings rather than on separate posts