TMS Consultancy conducted a Pre-3 Road Safety Audit in a new housing development. We were tasked to risk assess some aspects of the development most notably their shared space area, but also including extra features such as a pond.
The client was a Civil and Structural Engineering Company, involved in infrastructure design, development planning, geotechnical and surveying work, with a varied and wide client base. They wanted our professional advice regarding road safety around a an open shared space area known as the “The Square" and a pond feature. The Audit Stage was Pre-3, with the scheme nearing completion.
Concerns about road safety were raised by the Client surrounding a pond within the development, which will collect rainwater via an infiltration basin. The pond was larger than normally encountered during safety audits. The development also featured a large open shared space area known as the “The Square.” Concerns were raised here about undisciplined parking, vehicle speeds and navigation by pedestrians and cyclists.
The team needed to assess the risk to road users of the pond, to determine if any remedial measures were required to prevent vehicles from entering water if driver’s lose control. The injury risk posed to pedestrians also needed to be determined to decide whether pedestrian safety measures were required.
“The Square” was a large open space where road safety could be compromised if road users speed through the area, or if undisciplined parking occurs. These issues could also make the area less safe for pedestrians and cyclists, especially as the aim is to create a shared space where vulnerable road users would have equal priority to vehicles.
After careful analysis, the Audit Team found the pond did not need any improvements, as the ground profile, distance from the edge of carriageway and anticipated vehicle speeds deemed the risk to be in the low and tolerable region. However, safety improvements for pedestrians were suggested as the pond were more of a risk to them.
At “The Square” a way to slow vehicles was recommended, some suggestions made were landscaping and street furniture. If parking was required, a more formalised and confined arrangement was recommended. Otherwise, the prevention of parking within the shared space area could be considered, with the use of landscaping and suitably positioned street furniture to create a pedestrian only area.
Harminder Aulak who was the Audit Team Leader for the scheme quoted, “It is always pleasing when our clients come to us first to get our expert opinion on road safety matters as they arise during construction. Sometimes these issues are not easily identifiable on drawings during design stages, and instead potential issues become more apparent as construction progresses. With this scheme, we used our skills in road safety engineering, risk assessment and collision analysis to suggest improvements, ensuring scheme was safe for everyone.” Our client valued our input and we received good feedback during discussions at the site visit.