I have extensive experience of Dutch local road design methods, including strategies to make local roads as attractive as possible. This generally comes under the banner of filtered permeability, and includes techniques such as bollards to remove through traffic, one way streets and soft traffic calming measures.

Filtered permeability is designed to make roads safer for all users, including motor vehicle occupants as well as pedestrians and cyclists. It is important to note that filtered permeability is neutral in respect of car parking – sometimes street space can be given over for street furniture such as benches, or for the planting of trees and other vegetation. On high streets, adopting filtered permeability can help reduce the amount of through traffic and also lower speeds, making it easier to fit in more car parking spaces. Usage of one way streets can also free up space for car parking.

Bypasses and link roads

The debate over the future of roads in the UK tends to be polarised between supporters of road construction and opponents, who are concerned about the environmental damage caused by the building and usage of new roads. Yet even when new roads have been built to bypass congested areas, they have often failed to deliver the planned reduction in traffic in these areas, because through traffic has still been permitted.

I am keen to work with transport planners, developers and local authorities who advocate a balanced approach to new road building, with a focus on providing new link and bypass roads which then enable the remaining streets to be restricted for local access only. This is also part of the overall transport planning strategy of filtered permeability, and it is standard practice in the Netherlands, where the road network is actually around 50% longer than the UK when measured on a per capita basis.