Putting pedestrians first to develop a car-free neighbourhood
Category: Engineering and Transport
By Justin Sherlock, Associate Director at WSP
The design team and key stakeholders met this week to discuss Lennox Point’s design principle Pedestrian First. The purpose of the workshop was to ‘check and challenge’ the aspirations to create a development where vehicle movements are reduced and the street network prioritised for active modes of walking and cycling. This vision will be an enabler for re-imagining the street as a social and play space – instead of the street that many have become familiar with, where the motor vehicle dominates and pedestrians and cyclists have lower priority.
Subjects discussed included:
- How the masterplan will respond to future transport technology such as Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) and the role these might play in delivering our Pedestrian First aspirations. This key development in technology could see fully autonomous (driverless) People Movers (example here) travelling around the site and connecting with local destinations to remove the need for larger buses to access the site.
- Other challenges posed included how residents would order and receive take-aways if the development was not open to general traffic. Possible solutions being explored include providing on-site take-aways so that residents can access facilities within walking distance and the potential use of Droids such as the Starship system used in Milton Keynes (pictured) where shopping and take-aways are delivered to properties using self-driving robots.
- A further issue discussed was how we ensure that residents are within easy walking distance of the amenities they need to access on a day-to-day basis. The discussion focused on providing a permeable site with a choice of routes that minimised walking times. This would be further supported by the on-site public transport offer that would enable those less able to walk longer distances to catch a bus between destinations on the site. Off-site we are assessing the routes to key destinations such as local schools, the Queen Alexandra Hospital and city centre to identify what improvements might be needed to ensure that walking and cycling are key modes of travel.
A number of comments and actions were identified that will help to share the development proposals moving forward.