Shared Space Research

The DfT appointed a team including PJA to carry out research into Shared Space in the UK, leading to the preparation of a design guidance document. An associated commission looked at Shared Use paths for pedestrians and cyclists, with a view to preparing updated guidance on this topic.

Shared Space is a term gaining increasing currency in the UK, and is defined by the Department for Transport (DfT) as A street or place accessible to both pedestrians and vehicle, designed to enable pedestrians to move more freely by reducing traffic management features that tend to encourage vehicles to assume priority.

Proponents of Shared Space consider that it improves civility between road users, as well as yielding important congestion, safety and economic benefits. Concerns have been expressed, however, that shared space designs can disadvantage vulnerable people, particularly visually-impaired pedestrians, who may find it harder to detect when they are coming into potential conflict with traffic.

PJA provided input to the design and interpretation of the quantitative and qualitative research into Shared Space/Shared Use, together with the drafting of the resulting Local Transport Notes, including liaising with DfT staff. This new guidance was published as LTN 1/11 in October 2011.

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