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'REMOVING SAFETY FEATURES COULD MAKE TOWN ROADS SAFER'

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Local authorities could make town centre roads safer by removing traffic ...
Local authorities could make town centre roads safer by removing traffic

lights, crossings and other safety features, according to a paper to be

presented today to the Institute of Civil Engineers.

Urban design consultant Ben Hamilton Bailey told BBC Radio Four's Today

programme this morning that his paper is based on studies of measures taken

in the Netherlands and Sweden. Getting rid of safety features 'encourages

drivers, pedestrians and all other road users to engage with each other and

with their surroundings', he said. 'The more you add controls in towns, the

less safe it becomes, because drivers don't think'.

Experience in the Netherlands had shown that removing safety features and

allowing pedestrians, including children, and cyclists to use the roads

freely had significantly improved safety records at junctions and had even

improved journey times across towns. However, this was based on speed limits

of around 20 mph in residential areas, he added.

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