26 June 2019

Highways Winner: New Park Road, Sustrans and Lambeth LBC

Highways Winner: New Park Road, Sustrans  and Lambeth LBC image

A successful traffic calming scheme around an inner city London school has demonstrated just what impact a relatively small investment can have on a local community: improving safety, air quality and social cohesion all in one go.

The New Park Road scheme, Brixton Hill, has been chosen as this year’s winner of the Highways category with the judges praising its ‘lively and life-saving design’.

According to Lambeth, in 2015, New Park Road was a typical London, grey connector route dominated by cars and HGVs. The road is home to Richard Atkins Primary School and every day pupils, parents and staff navigated what Lambeth described as a ‘hostile and polluted environment’.

A major issue was how users could safely cross the road at established desire lines when a nine metre carriageway populated with high speed vehicles divided the space.

Air pollution and road accidents were significantly higher on New Park Road than on similar roads in Lambeth. Despite 80% of parents and school children walking, cycling or using public transport to reach school, many were very concerned about their safety.

Lambeth asked Sustrans to co-design a proposal that transformed the character of the road and created a key community hub that gave the street back to people.

The scheme aimed to transform a car-dominated road into a localised street focused on the needs of the local community. The vision was to improve the experience for day-to-day users and support local businesses through a series of street transformations.

By slowing and reducing vehicles, the scheme aimed to create places for people and support freedom of movement for pedestrians and cyclists, tying into Lambeth’s own vision by facilitating a blanket 20mph borough-wide zone.

According to Lambeth, the design challenges traditional highways and traffic engineering through the removal of regulatory behaviours. The carriageway was narrowed through a series of circular build-outs, which provides multiple shorter crossing points, where previously no clear crossings existed.

Colourful circles around crossing points suggest safe locations to cross. The circles use the school’s colours and seek to give the impression that the school is spilling out into the street.

The no priority give-way build-outs encourage drivers to go slower, thereby discouraging people from using the road as a through route. Granite kerbs were used because they are high quality and long-lasting. For the coloured circles, thermoplastics were used because they are cost-efficient and easy to maintain.

Fourteen trees were planted, making a contribution to sustainable drainage, improved air quality and city cooling.

The streetscape has been decorated with colour and trees. Lambeth describes the redesigned street as ‘difficult to drive through but easy to access on foot or by bike’. It says a reduction in non-local traffic, more greening and footway space means that the street now has a positive impact on quality of life and social cohesion while the transformed environment improves access to local amenities for people travelling on foot or by bike.

With more shopping space and more crossing points across the road, the businesses become more accessible and inviting, helping generate a stronger local economy and encouraging social interaction.

There has been a 27% reduction in speeds and a 14% reduction in volume, which has significantly reduced the risk of accidents to residents, parents and schoolchildren, who feel more comfortable crossing the road.

There has been a 30% reduction in the number of HGVs using the street. As a result of the reduction in traffic volumes, local emissions have also dropped.

Submitted by: Hamida Moncrieffe, Project Admin Support Assistant, Sustrans, on behalf of Bala Balaskanthan, Traffic Engineering Manager, Lambeth LBC

Project lead: Lambeth LBC
Design: Sustrans
Contractor: FM Conway

You can visit the Street Design Awards website for further details about the competition.

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Assessing Fostering Practice Supervisor

North Yorkshire County Council
£39,880 - £43,857 per annum pro rata, Part-time/ 18.5 hours
Are you an experienced social worker seeking a new challenge? Would you like an opportunity to work in the Fostering Service? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Commercial Vehicle Technician

Chelmsford City Council
£30,000 per annum
We are seeking a fully trained HGV technician to work as part of the team who maintain the Council's fleet to the highest standards.  Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO)

North Yorkshire County Council
£43,857 - £47,782 per annum pro rata.
Are you looking for a challenging and exciting role in a dedicated team? Selby, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Commercial Financial Controller

£63,000 - 71,000 per year + LGPS, Benefits
This individual will also be responsible for managing the financials for a number of trading businesses within... Leicestershire
Recuriter: ESPO

Deputy District Surveyor

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£60,000 - £63,900 per annum
In this role you will work with the Head of Building Control, District Surveyor and other members of the Service Leadership Team in ensuring... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue