Going Dutch to cut speed

PUBLISHED: 04:11 27 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:39 24 May 2010

A VILLAGE in North Somerset could become one of the first in the country to adopt a radical new system for putting the brakes on speeding motorists. Kerbs, traffic signs and road markings would all be removed in Wrington in a 'shared space' system pioneer

A VILLAGE in North Somerset could become one of the first in the country to adopt a radical new system for putting the brakes on speeding motorists.Kerbs, traffic signs and road markings would all be removed in Wrington in a 'shared space' system pioneered in Holland.In the system, the traditional barriers between cars and pedestrians are taken away to create 'psychological traffic calming.'The shared space idea, combined with a reduction in the speed limit to 20mph through Wrington, has been proposed by Phil Parker, a civil engineer who lives in the village. Mr Parker has been awarded money by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to go on a fact finding study to Holland, Denmark and France, where 'shared space' schemes have been introduced, later in the year.Mr Parker, who lives in Havyat Road said: "When a driver sees the usual things like road markings and traffic signs, they will drive accordingly. But when these are removed, the drivers are disorientated and they adjust their speed. It's known as psychological traffic calming."It's something that's catching on in this country. Wrington is ideal for this kind of thing because it doesn't have a main road passing through it."Mr Parker, a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and Institution of Highways and Transportation, has sent a report about the idea to the parish council. He has offered to give a presentation to a future meeting.When he returns from his trip in the autumn he is also planning to write a report for the professional bodies he belongs to.Parish council chairman Roy Clements said: "The idea is a new concept."The main problem we have is the speed of cars through the village. When we looked at a scheme with North Somerset Council with extra signs it would have made the centre of the village look like suburbia.

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