Kick out the Clutter!

August 27th, 2010

Any Old Iron?

‘Communities secretary Eric Pickles and transport secretary Philip Hammond have written to councils to ask them to reduce the amount of highway signage in urban and rural areas.’ This is from the Government ‘Planning portal’. Read the rest here

This is not new. There have been campaigns to do something about the invasion of, mainly, metal clutter on British High Streets for years now. It is ugly. It does no favours to to the often interesting, characterful, architecture of older suburban high streets and it makes them harder to get around. Plants in metal cages, or attached to metal cages, really is not a good look. Also, statistics show, clutter can be dangerous. English Heritage has campaigned. Living Streets has campaigned. The Department for Transport’s own ‘Manual for Streets’ says quite a bit about it, and there has been plenty of comment, over recent years, from organisations like CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Build Environment). Kensington, famously, dumped most of its street clutter in 2001, and has been enjoying dramatically reduced accident rates ever since. The Shared Space movement has been around since 2002. Acocks Green Focus Group has been talking about street design since 2004.

This is the BBC’s take on the new campaign Councils Urged to Move Unnecessary Street Signs (And more – the reporter here appears to have been genuinely irriated, herself, at the amount of ironmongery she was surrounded by!)

Eric Pickles explains his campaign (Including a reference to Oxford, where work has recently been done by the Shared Space company, Ben Hamilton-Baillie Associates.) \’We treat pedestrians like cattle\’ in this recent TV interview, And see The Guardian: Crack down on \’Bossy Bollards\’

Finally Acocks Green Focus Group – see our own page, written some time ago, here: How Acocks Green Looks Now (Yup. We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again, and go on saying it … ) Nice to know it looks like the whole idea is receiving increased interest from those in power. Maybe one fine day, in the not too distant future …

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