Shared Surfaces

Where a shared surface such a parking square forms an incident along a conventional road, its approaches should be ramped as described in the ‘Speed Restraint Within a 20mph Zone’ section of this guide, so that the whole shared surface is treated as a plateau. Channels or rows of setts demarcating the vehicleway and a different colour of paving for the perimeter footway will be sufficient indication for the visually impaired and people with dementia.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government intend to review national planning practice guidance to sit alongside the revised National Planning Policy Framework with regards the approach that should be taken to shared space schemes following the publication of the Department for Transport’s Inclusive Transport Strategy. To find out more details go to the 'downloads' section below.

The advent of autonomous vehicles offers significant potential benefits to shared-space areas. Partly, this is because speeds will be restricted automatically and vehicles will be aware of potential hazards. This will reduce collisions and incidents caused by human error, thereby eliminating many of the concerns currently associated with this street typology.

With this in mind, the future form and arrangement of the street needs to be taken into consideration at the design stage. For example, can vertical or horizontal traffic-calming methods (which are perhaps detrimental to visual design but fundamental to creating effective shared spaces) be designed so as to be easily removed in future? What alternative, improved forms can shared spaces and their associated hard and soft landscaping take when there is no longer a risk of collision or speeding vehicles?


Page updated: 15/10/2018


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