This guidance, issued in 2007 jointly by the Departments for Transport, Communities and Local Government, and Environment, Planning and Countryside, deals holistically with both transport and urban design issues. It states that places and streets that have stood the test of time are those where traffic and other activities are integrated successfully and where buildings and spaces and the needs of people, not just their vehicles, shape the area.
A process for assessing proposals is advocated whereby balanced decisions are reached. A quality audit, which could include audits relating to visual quality, how a street will be used by the community, road safety and risk assessment, access, cyclists, as well as a Placecheck, is part of the process. The Manual reminds designers that they do not have to comply with the recommendations of a safety audit, though their reasons should be recorded in writing.
Research on practical traffic calming shows that speed can be effectively reduced by restricting the forward visibility of drivers. Streets can be made more acceptable to pedestrians and encourage walking if a number of small changes are made, such as tighter kerb radius at corners, more comfortable crossings and less visual clutter.