Give communities powers to change non-classified roads

Neighbourhood planning legislation has given local communities the power to influence planning policy since 2011 but crucially leaves out the biggest asset to the community - the adopted highway network. Despite local communities often having great ideas for how to use the streets to their greatest potential - such as providing more cycle lanes, removing excessive parking, closing rat-runs and creating new pocket parks - they are at the mercy of their local authority to whether anything is implemented. Local communities are best placed to make radical changes to their streets for the benefit of the whole community - they understand the issues intimately and can communicate more effectively with their neighbours than remote highways officers. They are also enthusiastic for change and will often give up their time for free to make sure the change happens. Powers that could be given to the community might include: - the ability to grant permission for temporary street closures to vehicles, e.g. for street parties or events - the ability to draft statutory policy for the management and investment in their streets - the ability to allocate funding (e.g. S106/CIL) to highways schemes of their design - the ability to determine local parking charges, with a proportion of revenue returning to the local community

Why the contribution is important

By engaging the local community more in its streets, it will be possible to create more attractive communities with streets which meet the needs of its users. This is particularly important in urban areas where many of the issues faced are as a result of people driving in to the area from outside. Individuals, who have taken part in designing their streets will be more inclined to reconsider their journeys and instead choose to walk or cycle shorter journeys. Changing the function of the streets to serve the community rather than people travelling into the area will also force those drivers to reconsider the way they travel into urban areas, having a significant impact on urban congestion. The proposal complements existing neighbourhood planning legislation and has a clear demand from existing neighbourhood forums, so could be quickly and easily trialled.

by Markdlev on May 22, 2018 at 08:45PM

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  • Posted by JuliaDftGovUK June 29, 2018 at 15:14

    Hello, thanks very much for your interesting proposal. You might like to submit your views to our forthcoming call for evidence on the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge. Aside from legislative change, it could be worth considering how technology might be able to help improve the ability of communities to engage in the making of local transport/road policy?
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