Leonard Circus in Hackney is east London's first example of a ‘shared space' street, which is a design concept first inspired by the work of Dutch traffic engineer Hans Monderman, which brings together pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles in a harmonious environment. The shared space scheme was completed by VolkerHighways and London Borough of Hackney's highways team.
The new shared street includes granite block paving across the entire area with a number of benches and mature trees on the outermost area of the square, giving it a unique feel to the usually structured crossroad. In 2015 this will form part of the Super Cycle Highway Route 1.
VolkerHighways carried out the following works:
Removal of 500m3 of spoil and the creation of a new sub-base
Installation of 900m2 of hand laid Porphyry granite setts
Installation of 180m2 of hand laid granite setts
Reclaim and relay 315m2 of york stone paving
Installation of brighter, low energy LED street lighting
Planting of 10 young trees, including four large mature trees incorporating their own sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS)
Relocation of ‘Hitchcock's Reel' sculpture next to Gainsborough Studios
Installation of bespoke seating, car bike port, CCTV and Wi-Fi
Construction of resin bound gravel and bituminous surfaces
During construction, we closed off the works areas to protect the health and safety of the public and our employees. We provided gates and access paths through the site at all times for emergency services. A diversion route was also set up with traffic management to make sure there were minimal delays to the traffic flow.
VolkerHighways worked over 11,000 person-hours on the project without incident or accident.
We carried out the construction work in sections to allow access to businesses at all times. Our liaison manager worked with stakeholders and members of the public to maintain effective communication.
The benefits of the scheme include the following:
A more accessible area, particularly for the elderly, disabled and those with pushchairs
Improved pedestrian environment with seating areas
SUDS reduces surface water runoff into drainage system
The area is now designed to meet the needs of the majority that use it - pedestrians and cyclists
Supports the Council's transport vision and strategy of encouraging walking and cycling
Reuse of existing materials minimised the environmental impact of the works
Brighter low energy LED street lighting improves safety and security during the night
Car bike ports provide increased cycle storage space and reduced street clutter