Press release

New guidance on the design of shared space streets

Guidance to help local authorities design high-quality shared space schemes.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


New guidance to help local authorities design high-quality shared space schemes has been published today (20 October 2011) by Transport Minister Norman Baker.

In conventional streets, behaviour is governed by highway infrastructure such as traffic signs, road markings and other street furniture. In streets with shared space much of this infrastructure is removed so it is important that schemes are well designed and can be easily used.

Shared space schemes have become increasingly popular with councils wanting to regenerate local high streets. It is up to councils to decide whether or not to use shared space on their roads, but this guidance will help those who do want to use it to implement well-designed schemes.

Norman Baker said:

We want councils to design high-quality public spaces which enhance the local environment and improve the lives of local people. In some cases, they will decide that shared space is the best solution.

This new guidance will help councils who want to use shared space to improve their streetscape while making sure they take into account the needs of the whole community.

The local transport note on shared space has been developed to assist local authorities who want to put in place well-designed shared space schemes. The guidance places particular emphasis on engagement with the local community and on inclusive design, where the needs of a diverse range of people - including people with disabilities - are properly considered at all stages of the design development process.

Notes to editors:

The Department for Transport’s new local transport note on shared space addresses a growing need for guidance on the planning, design and provision of shared space schemes. The guidance is evidence based and is the culmination of a 2 year research project.

The document, and reports on the research which informed its preparation are entitled:

  • Local transport note 1/11 shared space
  • Shared space: operational assessment
  • Shared space: qualitative research

Hard copies of the local transport note are available from The Stationery Office

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Published 20 October 2011