A CONTROVERSIAL ‘shared space’ scheme could be brought in this year as part of a plan to transform Compton.
Councillors were due to decide last night whether or not to give the nod to spending £150,000 on a revolutionary scheme that will merge pavements into roads and open up the rights of way to all users.
The county council scheme, which will be based on a similar scheme in Poynton, Cheshier, could double the area’s parking provision by adding ‘herring-bone’ parking and a narrowed thoroughfare.
If approved at the Derbyshire County Council Cabinet’s Highways and Transport Capital Programme meeting, and if it then makes it through the planning phase, the scheme would be the first of its kind in Derbyshire.
Simon Spencer, Derbyshire County Council deputy leader and cabinet member for highways and transport, told the News Telegraph: “The whole philosophy around the proposal is that we could have funding from the capital programme for highways and transport and we’ve highlighted certain schemes that we want to put forward for completion sooner rather than later.
“If the proposal is approved a team will come forward with a proposal and then it will have to go through to consultation.
“The objective is to enhance the retail offering around Compton and Dig Street, to enhance the pedestrian safety and to improve the general environment, taking on board any concerns people might have.
“It will be the first of its kind in Derbyshire. We’ve been to see the scheme in Poynton, and it’s been scientifically proven in university studies that it works, but we will have to take on all views when the consultation takes place.”
Although the Shared Space system, which originated in the Netherlands, has proven effective in Poynton, it has not been without its controversies nationally.
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is running a campaign to ‘say no to shared space’ as charity leaders believe the lack of kerbs, signs and confusing priority systems make it harder for blind people and their dogs to navigate safely.
As part of the county council’s vision, which has yet to be revealed in any detail, traffic calming would also be put in place to ensure the shared space system is safe for pedestrians, which could include raised sections of road and merged pavement.