Time to stop sharing?

Lord Holmes

Lord Holmes on BBC Breakfast - interview on Exhibition Road - onscreen "Lord Holmes of Richmond, Report author"

Today I have published detailed research into so called “shared space”.  This is the architectural conceit, the planning folly which proposes that the removal of kerbs, road markings, controlled crossings such as zebras and pelicans and so on leads to a better experience for all users of our streets.  To be clear this means no road or pavement, just space, buses and blind people, toddlers and trucks sharing this same space.  Unsurprisingly, the research findings do not support a sunny view of shared space.


Sixty-three per cent of respondents reported a negative experience of shared space. Even more worrying than that, thirty-five per cent said they actively avoided shared space, that’s over a third of people planned out of their local community, their local shops, their local support services.  This type of totalitarian planning would make even an old style Soviet feel some shame.  The research also indicated a significant under reporting of accidents in these shared spaces.


The findings are stark, the solution clear, an immediate moratorium on all shared space schemes until thorough impact assessments can be conducted.  This must be combined with a central record of accident data including “courtesy crossings”, which must be defined and monitored.  There is also a need for updated Department for Transport guidance to enable local authorities to fully understand their obligations, not least in relation to the Equality Act.


Patrick McGloughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, when questioned by the Transport Select Committee on exactly this just before the end of the last parliament acknowledged that Government guidance on shared space must be improved stating,  “We need to review and update the guidance that we are giving” (Q.30)  I look forward to hearing more from Patrick McGloughlin on how that commitment is progressing


Has so called “shared space” achieved an inclusive experience for all, no, it most certainly has not.  Has it opened up our high streets, increased safety and usability, again, no it has not. 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.


In the words of survey respondents, shared space is:

“Lethally dangerous” (Pedestrian)

“Absolute nightmare that I avoid if I can.” (Driver)

“Shared space is a false promise with poor delivery” (Cyclist)

Full Report

Two eyes in inclusion?

Please tweet using #stopsharedspace




4 comments for “Time to stop sharing?

  1. maude elwes
    03/07/2015 at 10:55 am

    Just a thought, as I have not researched any of this, but, of course the fat cats would feel a certain tension at the possible loss of unending income, wouldn’t they? No more money wasted on endless road signs, kerb building, traffic lights, line painting, and on and on. The endless eyesore our streets have become under any guise imaginable is enough to madden us all.

    I came in the other day via Holland Park, Bayswater Road, and a signs that costs, God knows how much, read, ‘Trees.’ Now what could be the sanity in that? The blind can’t see the sign, those driving, if they are unaware there are trees on the pavement, are a danger to all and shouldn’t be driving. The waste of public money on so much of this game is criminal. Thirty sets of traffic lights in one junction is excessively ugly, as well as expensive. Just stop it is the answer.

    It has eased traffic considerably around Sloane Square, which was a nightmare before they took the chance of experiment. I think there is a place in Dorset called Pound, or something like that, they apparently find it tranquil not having all that obsessive mess around them.

    And on th ematter of hidden truths, well what a surprise, isn’t the truth hidden on just about every matter that comes to light now?

    However, all that said, it’s about time the Lords of the blog began to start opening up topical issues that matter to the general public here, rather then endlessly centre on what going on in the world of Globalisation they want the British tax payer to foot the bil for. To the exclusion of their neghbours next door.

    • MilesJSD
      06/07/2015 at 1:00 pm

      Before WordPress shows the world the individual peer’s often ‘narrowed down” or “loose-ended” topic,

      some ‘disinterested people-friendly’ expertise-service should be established
      to put up-front the usually hidden greater contexts and miniscule spanners-in-the-works-already’
      that overshadow or underlurk that somewhat narrowed and ‘closed-by-the-Hansard-moderator’ topic.

      Wouldn’t maude agree ?

      • maude elwes
        20/07/2015 at 8:06 am

        @ Miles JSD

        This site is the most politically censored in Europe. The fear they have, either in the Lords, or, generally, on all subjects put up for discussion is frankly, unconscionable.

        The UK elite has a serious fear of different points of view. If you want more freedom to write of your political views and be able to debate without being denied a voice, go to Debating Europe. They are far less touchy about all things affecting our lives, including the fact they are also an unelected bunch of gravy train riders.

        The only difference there is, they are less inclined to condemn the poverty stricken to starvation as they praise the powerful. And you have to remember, the British are subjects and used to cap doffing, so are far more accepting of serfdom and tied housing than the Europeans. Strangely, this stance includes the Eastern Block members. You know, the ones we are told lived a terrible life under Russian rule and communism.

  2. maude elwes
    07/07/2015 at 11:34 am

    As a PS to the above post, this thread on the machine of road economics and covers the way so called ‘Economic Hit Men’ take over a country and create fianancial chaos.

    Read all about it in this link. It is worth the time.


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