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ICE backs residents' right to reclaim streets from traffic

CIVIL ENGINEERS will today call for a new Highways Act which will encourage home owners to challenge the right of motorists to use their streets.

The ICE backed campaign is intended to boost the morale of city residents who are often resigned to accepting noisy, fast moving traffic.

It claims that city dwellers are discouraged from forming communities and taking pride in their streets because of a belief that they have no control over them.

New legislation would overhaul laws that the ICE sees as biased towards vehicle movement, based on a historical 'right to pass'. It would instead emphasise the local community's 'right of place'.

The ICE suggests the new legislation could introduce street management codes, incorporating national performance standards.

The codes would bring together the many powers currently held by utilities and statutory undertakers to work in the streets, creating a single point of contact which would be responsible for the street.

The plans are set out in the '2002 Designing Streets for People Report', launched today.

The report sets out a vision for urban streets in 2025 and describes the steps that are needed to end a situation where many believe streets to be 'unliveable'.

'Only 20% of people are happy with urban life, and we have to tackle the problem at source, ' said Designing Streets for People Working Group chairman Ed Chorlton.

INFOPLUS

The full report is published by Thomas Telford, tel (020) 7987 6999

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