The Government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy was published on 25 July and is available to download from the Government website at:
The Strategy’s core objectives are:
Whilst the Strategy covers a number of issues the purpose of this email is to bring to your attention our position on shared space schemes.
The appearance of streets, and the way in which they function, has a significant impact on people’s lives. Shared space is one approach to street design that has been introduced in some town centres in recent years.
There are mixed views on the impact of shared space schemes, and many respondents to our consultation on the draft Accessibility Action Plan raised significant concerns about them. In particular, groups representing visually impaired people expressed concern that shared space schemes were difficult to navigate and left them feeling excluded. This particularly applied to schemes that included a ‘level surface’, in which the kerb between the road and the pavement is removed.
In recognition of these issues, we are therefore asking that local authorities pause the introduction of new shared space schemes which incorporate a level surface, and which are at the design stage. The pause will allow us to carry out research and produce updated guidance. We have also withdrawn Local Transport Note 1/11: Shared Space while this work takes place and the Department’s website has been updated to reflect this.
The Department is clear that all public realm schemes should be inclusive and accessible and we expect local authorities to play their part by respecting our request to pause the introduction of new shared space schemes.
Please direct any queries about this to our enquiry inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org.