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Pedestrian priority / Shared spacePedestrian Priority

sight lines
Sight Lines


Quality Public Spaces
Quality public spaces

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Quality detail design


Pedestrian priority / Shared spacePedestrian Priority

sight lines
Sight Lines

Councillors working for Public Realm Improvements

If you are a Councillor or Design Champion passionate about the public realm, our streets, village traffic calming or the historic environment, we can give advice and help you to achieve your aims.

People care about where they live, their historic environment, its meaning, its depth and diversity, its familiarity, its memories, the quality it affords and the opportunities it offers.  And people feel strongly that children should be encouraged to understand the value of the historic environment as they do the natural world.

Common problems are traffic speeds, parked cars and congestion. Traffic speeds through towns and villages can erode the unique character of places. Obtrusive road signs, bollards, railings and ugly road markings intended to manage traffic often spoil further the streets.

Modern approach to traffic calming uses more subtle techniques to greater affect while retaining local qualities. Department for Transport documents support ideas for improving street safety while respecting the look of streets. The recent official advice note Traffic Management and Streetscape explains how the public realm and the historic environment can be immeasurably improved through sensitive design and management.

Improving streets: Department for Transport guidance documents
NEW 2013
latest highway advice
Reducing Sign Clutter from Department for Transport

Traffic signs, signals and road markings need to be simple and concise so as to be easily understood.
Over-provision of signs can have a detrimental impact on the environment and can dilute more important messages if they result in information overload for drivers.

Signing the Way was the Department for Transports major review of traffic signs policy. It set an aim of minimising the impact of traffic signs on the environment is a key priority.
This leaflet gives practical advice on reducing sign clutter. Highway engineers should use their judgement and local knowledge to complement guidance to ensure signing solutions are effective.
For new schemes, the aim should be to design clutter out from the start.

DfT: Manual for Streets
DfT: Manual for Streets 2
DfT: Traffic Management and Streetscape
Manual for Streets
Manual for Streets 2
Traffic Management in Streetscape - Lnt 08
DfT: Shared Space
DfT: Quality Audit
Signing The Way from Department for Transport
Shared Space
Quality Audit
Signing the Way

If you are a recently elected councillor or simply trying to influence the council officers to designing highways that are sympathetic to the character of the town or village, we can give all levels of advice, training and support. Recent official advice note Traffic Management and Streetscape explains how the public realm and the historic environment can be immeasurably improved through sensitive design and management.
Department for Transport guidance on improving your area including:
   Village square
   Town centre
   Local shops
   Village gateway

Legislation is in place. Streets are for people not just traffic.

We offer guidance to highway authorities how to achieve traffic calming safely and within their existing powers and processes including safety audits and quality audits. And so our technical expertise may be helpful in improving the appearance of your own town, village or locality.
Our case studies show what is being achieved across the country.
Look at our two pictures. One shows what, sadly, is a typical cluttered street.


A typical cluttered street.

Signs, paving, workmanship could all be improved.

The character of the town is overshadowed by the clutter.

Improving Streets
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.

Street improvements

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 Quality & Design

Far less traffic signs.
  For more information follow link to reducing the need for Keep Left signs Keep left signs

Street lights fixed to buildings, rather than on lamp columns 

   lamp on building - before    lamp on building

Neater litter bins

Neater direction signs, fixed neatly to buildings rather than on separate posts

   wall mounted sign    wall mounted sign

No redundant posts or bollards

Pavement slabs that are neat and tidy.
   For more information follow link to Construction Know How: Footway maintenance

Manhole covers that fit neatly into paving

All these things can be done within the official highway design rules, and are done by some local authorities.

If you have any technical questions about reducing clutter, please do email us..
Please help us provide the information you need by emailing your queries to:

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