IN our rural hinterland we negotiate our pedestrian and vehicle movements with respect, usually “eyeballing” each other, sometimes giving way, sometimes reversing; but always with respect for each other.

So why does this natural behaviour stop when we get into urban areas?

The concept of shared space is not a new one and is often used in the Netherlands and in a few areas of England, most notably in Poynton.


In fact, Herefordshire councillors and staff visited there in 2010 inspired by Ben Hamilton-Baillie’s ideas; it was he who wrote the Hereford Streetscape Design Strategy in 2009. His proposals highlighted areas of potential conflict, prompting road users to be especially aware.

For example, he suggested a circular area of paving for the junction of Church Street and East Street encouraging all users to look out.


Why this approach has not been more widely adopted is a shame; probably driven by unenlightened highway engineers who refuse to look forward for better and safer solutions.

Any chance of shared space being incorporated in the upcoming Hereford City Masterplan?


St Weonards, near Hereford

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