Villages go back in time to slow passing traffic
Report suggests bonfire of road signs in favour of subtler methods of discouraging speeding
In even the most picturesque of small towns and villages the urban clutter of traffic signs, road markings, traffic lights and speed cameras can ruin the view.
But could these aids to road safety actually encourage drivers to drive more quickly? That's the thinking behind an innovative report which tells local planners how small adjustments to their villages can help them to both retain their visual identities and to curb speed and road traffic accidents.
The methods outlined in the report, Traffic in Villages, suggest that with psychological nudges – a chalk goalpost drawing to indicate a school, or tables next to the street outside a café or a pub – drivers will react instinctively to their surroundings and slow down.
Some of the existing road signs and markings are also removed, to both slow down through traffic and to restore the character of the village to its pre-highway state. The psychology is similar to a supermarket carpark. If there are obvious signs of human activity – trolleys, shoppers, children and staff – no sane driver will go faster than, say, 20mph.
The report's author, Ben Hamilton-Baillie, has advised on a number of projects designed to improve traffic's relationship with pedestrians. He says the methods – which also include narrowing roads, having market stalls in the street and changing road surfaces – work because "what you're doing is welcoming the driver as part of the village. It appears to change the perception and expectations in the drivers' mind."
Drivers are actively encouraged to look at their surroundings and react appropriately to them, rather than passing through like "zombies".
The report was commissioned by Dorset Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty.
- 1 The way the police have treated Cliff Richard is completely unacceptable
- 2 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 3 Michael Brown shooting: Ferguson police shoot and kill second young black man
- 4 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 5 Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermeister and vodka
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Michael Brown shooting: Ferguson police shoot and kill second young black man
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
Iraq crisis: Islamic State's message to America - 'We will drown you all in blood'
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness
£35000 - £43000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA/Developer SQL, C#, VBA, Linux, SQL Se...
£650 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer ASP.Net, C#.net, WCF, WPF, .N...
£35000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Principal Arboricu...