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Shared Space

Simon Jenkins enthuses about shared space traffic management in the Graun.

BB briefly experienced this concept in the city of Napier in NZ, several years ago. To be precise, we merrily wandered into the centre of what we believed to be a pedestrianised street, in front of an oncoming vehicle. Fortunately, the vehicle was moving very slowly because there were no kerbs or other roadway delineations.

We might have experienced it again if Trafford Council (the council that loves traffic (lights)) had seen fit to implement a similar scheme during the recent revamp of Altrincham’s main thoroughfare, a classic candidate for such a radical approach. But showing commendable herd instinct, they went with the standard parking bays and bollards.

We’re not totally won over by Jenkins’s unbounded enthusiasm and (selective?) positive statistics in favour of shared space - it seems to neglect the typical tendency of British drivers to be selfish, aggressive and stupid - but the present approach appears to be nearing the end of its usefulness in the face of ever higher traffic figures.

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