TheDorset AONB in conjuction with Hamilton-Baillie Associates has just produced a Community Toolkit for Traffic in Villages Safety and Civility for Rural Roads. This signals a significant change in the approach to the relationship between highways and transportation and the quality of the public realm.
Its intention was to bring about a transformation in the quality of new and existing streets which required a fundamental culture change and a collaborative approach. People needed to think differently about their various roles in the process of delivering streets – breaking away from standardised, prescriptive, risk-averse approaches and instead follow a rational and creative process in order to create high quality places. Until now, most guidance has focused on urban areas, although the issues are equally relevant to smaller settlements and the rural environment.
A partnership approach to road management has been an significant and continuing strand of work in the sensitive landscape of the AONB's. This Toolkit represents an important step forward in helping communities and highway authorities work together to value and conserve our local distinctiveness. By providing a step by step approach to making our rural roads so much better, the Toolkit will empower communities to embrace their rural roads with confidence and enthusiasm. With luck this Toolkit will inspire community action in other landscapes.