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Clear zone

Brighton & Hove

Clear Zones constituted a package of measures, which aim to reduce the impact of vehicles through controlling access and movement in the area.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Clear Zones constituted a package of measures, which aim to reduce the impact of vehicles through controlling access and movement in the area.

The area known locally as the cultural quarter provided a good example of shared space between transport modes; therefore this was the focus of research to assess what works well in the area and how different target groups react to the space. This was compared to a neighbouring street without a shared provision. Further traffic management measures were then implemented and monitored in order to explore the benefits of a more equitable use of space.  

How did the measure progress?

Surveying of New Road in the cultural quarter took place to identify and evaluate what aspects of shared space worked well. This included interviews with local businesses. This information was used to test the relative impact of the traffic management measures implemented on the adjacent Church Street. A raised table was built between New Road and Jubilee Street to join two areas of shared space, cutting across Church Street.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

Evaluation for this measure has predominantly focused on an assessment of traffic flows and modal split, and research into social awareness and acceptance of the measure and the concept of shared space.

  • 90.5% of people surveyed think schemes like New Road are a good thing
  • 86% of people surveyed would like to see schemes like New Road implemented elsewhere in the city

The findings from New Road and Church Street highlight the importance of considering the emotional impacts of street improvement schemes upon different user groups, rather than just focussing on more traditional measures.

The results from New Road demonstrate that good street design can have a positive emotional impact upon its users, and that these users are able to conceptualise a financial value of that experience. Being able to demonstrate that people value quality street design is important, because the emotional benefits of such schemes are often overlooked in favour for more traditional means of assessment.

It’s important to understand the full impacts of streetscape improvement schemes upon users, rather than just concentrating on traditional measures such as vehicle speeds, and traffic counts. The findings from Church Street suggested that changing the physical appearance of the junction wasn’t enough to significantly change how the junction is used; however, we wouldn’t have known this if we had developed solely upon traditional traffic surveys.

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