Press Release: Cutting clutter is common sense

A powerful coalition of civic, transport and heritage bodies have today launched updated guidance by calling on the Government to consider conducting research into the safety impact of cutting street clutter in our towns, cities and villages.

Freddie Gick, Chair of Civic voice said “Our members are informing us that many local councils are citing safety regulations as the reason for cluttering up our streets. Common sense tells us uncluttered streets have a fresher, freer authentic feel, which are safer and easier to maintain. Street Design for All is updated guidance for anyone with an interest in seeing our towns and cities become more attractive and distinctive”

Street Design for All explains that in Poynton, Cheshire ten sets of traffic signals were removed and replaced with a high efficiency free-flow junction and carefully designed approaches. The East Cheshire highway authority’s two year road safety records are recently available and show a substantial reduction in casualties, while vehicle flows have been maintained, congestion controlled, street quality considerably improved and businesses regenerated.

The statistics chime with the results of similar schemes, including the de-cluttering of Kensington & Chelsea’s High Street which saw a 40% reduction in road traffic accidents and a 60% reduction in pedestrian accidents. As a coalition we are calling on the Government to consider research and examining this further.

Andrew Hugill, CIHT, said “We believe that through guidance such as this we can encourage local authorities and other stakeholders to work with communities to highlight the benefits of investment in street design. We are working with the DfT to promote good practice in traffic signing through a ‘Reducing Sign Clutter Award’ which will open for entry in the new year.”

The coalition believes:

  • The economic wellbeing of a city, town or village can depend significantly on the appearance of its streets and public space
  • Most people value our historic environment, and, in particular appreciate buildings such as cathedral, castles and palaces
  • Protecting and promoting local distinctiveness and character and our heritage, respecting and making best use of historic buildings, street forms and settlement patterns.
  • Enhancing civic involvement and local economic activity which improve the health of communities.

Colin Davis, CEO of PRIAN, finished by saying: ‘The book is intended to help local civic societies and community groups have the confidence to work with their highway authority to make a real difference to their own streets

Copies of the report can be accessed by contacting .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Notes for Editors

Civic Voice is the national charity for the civic movement. We work to make the places where everyone lives more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive and to promote civic pride. We speak up for civic societies and local communities across England. We believe everyone should live somewhere they can be proud of and we know how people feel about places because we feel the same way. Civic societies are the most numerous participants in the planning system. Since its launch in April 2010 Civic Voice has been joined by over 290 civic societies with 75,000 members. Further information is available at including how to join Civic Voice (£10 individuals) and contact details for local civic societies.

Contact details: 0151 707 4319 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Colin Davis’s background:

Colin is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architect, the Royal Town Planning Institute and a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Highway and Transportation. Colin has held senior positions in architecture and town planning and has for twenty years been involved in the practice, training and production of publications on street design.

Contact: 07885 474140