Public Realm Information & Advice Network

Training for Sater Streets

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Pedestrian priority / Shared spacePedestrian Priority

sight lines
Sight Lines

Download course details
Advanced, evidence based
traffic management and
urban design cours

July 2012

Top tips
    5 Easy wins for better public realm at low cost

Simplying the highways and public realm can reduce maintenance costs and improve the quality of the area.
Here are our top 5 ways to making the change.
Follow the link from each point win to get the relevant regulation and guidance note.

  1    All yellow lines 50mm wide in primrose yellow
narrow primrose yellow lines

Width of yellow lines:   "In areas regarded as environmentally sensitive, the 50 mm wide line may be used."
Department for Transport
Traffic Signs Manual. Chapter 5. Paragraph 20.4

Shade of yellow lines:   "In environmentally sensitive areas, yellow markings to colour number 310  - primrose, or colour number 353 - deep cream, may be preferred. Special authorisation is not necessary for any of these shades."
Department for Transport
Traffic Signs Manual. Chapter 5. Paragraph 23.18

  2    Reduce the number of secondary traffic signals
Secondary Traffic Signals
Department for Transport: 'Cutting down the number of repeater traffic signals - we agree local authorities should cut back on unnecessary traffic signs and signal and we will make sure our street design advice gives them practical ideas for doing this safely.'

Link to DfT:

Contact PRIAN for assistance with approaching the Department for Transport to reduce the number of signals.

  3    No white borders around traffic signals
Traffic signal - no white boarder

Signals diagram 3000, Regulation:10
Direction: 46(3) - States that signal 'may' have white line boarder. This is often interpreted as 'should have' but in the word 'may' means the white line is optional and so not required and an unessecarry cluttering feature.
Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002

Busy traffic junctions are visually complex spaces. Additional complexity is not helpful to drivers. In London's Piccadilly Circus and busy and complex intersection and vibrant public realm, traffic signal have no white lines.

  4    Remove keep left sign
Keep Left Signs

The law stated in the Highway Code is 'Keep to the left unless directed by traffic signs...'
Keep left signs at pedestrian crossings are not mandatory.
Statuory Instument 1997, No 2400. The Zebra, Pelican & Puffun Pedestrian Crossing Regulations and General Directions 1997

  5    Remove guardrails
Remove guardrails
Guard rails can be removed safely by using the PRIAN Guardrails Assesment guide.
Link to Guardrail Background reasoning
Link to Guardrail Assesment

Contact PRIAN for assistance with the Manual for Streets guardrail audit methodology.
Better for less



m_heath m_atkins_global
Peter Heath- Principal Urban Designer

3 pre-conditions for sucessful public realm improvement

Peter explains that these pre-condidtions are most valuable when applied to an ordinary street.

mike_morris urban_initiatives
Mike Morris - Director, Urban Initiatives

Mike explains how an original design concept
and quality can be maintained throughout the
projext to achieve successful public realm.


Corringe v Calderdale: defining case for duty of driver & highway authority

Robert Huxford of Urban Design Group gives an over view for making balanced judgments while navigating complex law and guidance documents when designing the public realm.
Link to movie

Robert Huxford Urban Design Consultant m_udg

Robert Huxford
Urban Design Group

John Adams - International expert in risk

“Risk compensation” is the name given to the idea that people monitor their environments and respond to (compensate for) perceived changes in safety or danger. Traditional highway engineers reject the idea. Motorists are seen as selfish, stupid, obedient automatons who require protection in the form of airbags and crumple zones, and guidance in the form signs, signals and road environments forgiving of careless driving. Pedestrians and cyclists are seen as vulnerable stupid, obedient automatons in need of protection from motorists in the form of signals, barriers and under or overpasses. Shared space schemes assume road users are intelligent, vigilant, responsive and cooperative. Experience thus far supports the latter view of human nature – permitting the development of a safer, more attractive and more convivial public realm.

Pedestrians and vehicles intermingle in Seven Dials,

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