Poynton, Cheshire

The Poynton Project was commissioned by Cheshire East Council to address issues associated with the intersection of two major routes at the heart of the town – a hostile and congested traffic space, dominated by traffic signals and road markings. Planit worked alongside shared space champion Ben Hamilton-Baillie to simplify and remove all traffic signals, road markings and barriers to create free-flowing, low speed integrated streets. Quickly becoming an exemplar and point of reference for a host of bodies including Transport For London (TFL), Civic Voice and the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Shared space principles underpinned the scheme from the outset with radial streetscape changes, visually narrowed carriageways, bold courtesy crossings and widened footways combining to establish a design speed of around 18 mph.

New paving materials, planting, lighting and street furniture combined to re-establishing a sense of place at the town’s major and minor intersections. This has been reinforced by strong transitional gateway features which reference the area’s industrial heritage.

The completed £4m scheme has now been in operation for over 12 months and the positive impacts of the works include significantly higher levels in foot fall, improved retail performance, better road safety and security, as well as a general uplift in village vitality. The scheme was highly commended through the CIHT 2013 ‘Street’ awards.

An extremely courageous scheme which has succeeded in achieving significant economic and social benefits through the enhancement of ‘place’ whilst continuing to provide a route for significant volumes of traffic.” – CIHT Award Judges