Sheffield is one of five cities and towns involved in the Urban Safety Project led by the Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL) to demonstrate the effects of combining, on an area-wide basis, a range of low-cost engineering measures to reduce accidents. In 1985, after gaining the acceptance of local residents, a package of interacting countermeasures was implemented in an area to the north of Sheffield city centre. Central to the scheme was the discouragement of use by through traffic of six roads which were being used for travel diagonally through the area. This was done either by closure or restriction to use by buses and bicycles at carefully selected points. The arterial and distributor routes through and around the area were improved in line with the safety objectives to make it feasible to transfer to them some of the through traffic displaced from the residential areas. Within these areas the use of some roads where high speeds were attainable was made safer by arranging sheltered parking so that the effective carriageway width was reduced and pedestrians were helped to cross. The redistribution of traffic was achieved safely and, with one exception, without increasing delays on the main roads or at points of entry and exit to the residential areas. After two years of operation of the scheme the number of injury accidents reported is estimated to have been in the region of 20 to 30 per cent lower than would have been expected if no changes had taken place. All road user groups benefitted from a greater level of safety in line with reduction in accidents for the area as a whole. Accidents involving pedestrians on the local distributor routes were reduced by more than the average for the area, especially on routes where sheltered parking and verge hardening were introduced. (A)

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