Evening Standard Press Release

Roads shared by pedestrians, cyclists and drivers ‘cause chaos,’ government report finds

“Free-for-all” road share schemes designed to declutter streets by removing pavements and crossings are causing chaos, government ministers have warned.

A Conservative peer has argued that the Nordic-style road design, seen on Exhibition Road in London, is putting cyclists and pedestrians at risk.

According to The Times, Lord Holmes of Richmond said that at least 14 local councils have scrapped shared space schemes by reintroducing zebra crossings and cycle lanes.

His comments come as the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) is expected to publish a scathing review of the system.

The report is predicted to say that shared space roads are not “inclusive” and cannot be safe for drivers and pedestrians at the same time.

And a specific criticism is that the development is especially dangerous for pedestrians with disabilities or sight problems.

The scheme, developed in the Netherlands in the 1970s, involves merging pedestrians and vehicles by removing kerbs, surface markings, crossings and signs.

The Times reported that former Paralympic swimmer Lord Holmes said shared space had “absolutely failed to achieve an inclusive experience”.

He added: “Shared space is not a safe place nor a pleasant place; it has turned high streets into traffic-free-for-alls; it has caused confusion, chaos and catastrophe.”

The CIHT has suggested the Highway Code may have to be rewritten to educate drivers in shared road safety.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “We are absolutely clear that the needs of the whole community, including disabled people, need to be considered by councils looking to introduce shared space schemes.”