Applying the EDG in practice: Active Design Principles

Poynton Case Study

Development name: Poynton shared space scheme

Location: Poynton, Cheshire

Designed by: Hamilton-Baillie Associates

Landscape architect: Planit-IE

Scheme type: Shared space road scheme

The Poynton shared space scheme was designed by Hamilton-Baillie Associates and prepared with Planit-IE Landscape Architects. The scheme was commissioned by Cheshire East Council to address issues associated with the intersection of two major routes at the heart of the town which had become a hostile and congested traffic space, dominated by traffic signals and road markings.

The scheme involved the regeneration of the main shopping street, Park Lane, and the reinstatement of Fountain Place, the historic centre of the town. The streets have been redesigned with greatly extended pedestrian areas. All traffic lights have been removed, and average speeds significantly reduced to create a more responsive and civilised interaction amongst pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

Shared space principles underpinned the scheme from the outset with radial streetscape changes, visually narrowed carriageways, bold courtesy crossings and widened footways combining to establish a design speed of around 18 mph.

New paving materials, planting, lighting and street furniture combined to re-establishing a sense of place at the town’s major and minor intersections. This has been reinforced by strong transitional gateway features which reference the area’s industrial heritage.

The project won the 2013 Highways Magazine Annual Awards for congestion reduction and the scheme was highly commended through the CIHT 2013 ‘Street’ awards.

“An extremely courageous scheme which has succeeded in achieving significant economic and social benefits through the enhancement of ‘place’ whilst continuing to provide a route for significant volumes of traffic.” – CIHT Award Judges

The scheme was also one of three finalists in the Academy of Urbanism “Great Streets” award 2014.

The Poynton scheme exemplifies a number Active Design principles of the EDG;

  • Creating an connected street space with well integrated walking and cycle routes
  • Using materials, planting and street furniture to create a high-quality street space
  • The schemes infrastructure is appropriate for the town
  • The scheme creates an active, well-populated space that adds value to the surrounding environment

Page updated: 25/04/2023

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