Haringey's DIY streets highly commended at National Transport Awards 2013

At the National Transport Awards 2013 Haringey Council, Sustrans and VolkerHighways were highly commended in the category of Excellence in Walking & Public Realm for a project which saw a 185% increase in residents feeling safe in their environment.


Over the last three years Haringey Council, Sustrans and VolkerHighways have been working in partnership on an innovative project called DIY Streets in the Turnpike Lane and West Green area. The DIY Streets initiative, which was created by Sustrans and delivered by VolkerHighways, involved design input from the local community in order to reduce traffic speeds and incidents, improve the local environment for pedestrians and cyclists, reduce the level of crime and promote sustainable methods of transport.

In the initial stages of the project meetings were undertaken with local residents to allow the three partners to translate the ‘voice of the customer' into the design of the works. An integrated process ensured continuous input from a team of local residents including community workshops using 3D modelling and self-experiments by residents leading to the selection of the design and materials. This avoided a change to a one way system and a restriction of access, which the residents had objected to.

The final product has been a subtle but effective way of coercing drivers to slow down by using almost unconscious cues such as patterned blockwork junctions, flowerpots in place of bollards and extended, gently rounded kerbs where pedestrians cross, in order to make the driver feel like they are in a residential area.

The project has achieved:

  • a 20% reduction in through traffic
  • a 10% reduction in traffic volumes at monitoring sites
  • a 23% increase in traffic travelling 20mph or less
  • a 61% increase in residents who felt the street was attractive
  • a 24% increase in the number of residents who felt they had a say in decisions about their neighbourhood
  • a 34% increase in the number of residents who felt the street is a place to socialise
  • a 185% increase in residents feeling their streets are safer for their children to play
  • a 60% increase in residents feeling that the roads are safer in terms of personal safety and security

Tony Kennedy, Haringey Council sustainable transport group manager, said: "The approach we have taken is somewhat unique as we are collaborating not only with the constructors but with the end users those being the local residents. The result is a product which is fit for purpose as demonstrated by the exceptionally high levels of satisfaction from residents."

Peter Hyde, VolkerHighways managing director, said: "The National Transport Awards go to people and organsiations making a real difference in transport across the UK and we are proud to have been highly commended as part of a fantastic team truly focused on engineering  concepts for the local community in order to achive safe and enjoyable areas to live in."