Tories to propose removal of street features

The Conservative party is preparing a set of proposals to remove features such as traffic lights, road signs and white lines from busy streets across the UK in a bid to reduce congestion and improve safety, according to reports.

If defining aspects of roads are removed, it will force drivers to question whether they have right of way and consequently exercise more caution around pedestrians, the paper will suggest, according to the Times.

The notions included in the report are borrowed from the Dutch road system, where borders between roads and pavements are deliberately blurred and traffic lights have been removed, creating more voluntary communication between drivers and pedestrians.

Figures from the Netherlands express the method’s safety credentials – in the town of Drachten the removal of traffic lights at a junction cut accidents from 36 in the four years before the scheme to two in the next two years.

Shadow transport minister Owen Paterson told the Times: "By removing road signs and traffic lights and changing the appearance of the road, you avoid the impression that areas are designated just for cars.

"The idea is to create space where there is mild anxiety among everyone so they all behave cautiously. No one thunders along at 30mph on a high street thinking that they have priority."

There are currently 100,000 speed bumps in Britain and 6,000 speed cameras, which recorded two million offences in 2004.

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