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MPs question success of ICE initiative

A HOUSE OF Commons committee last week questioned whether an ICE led initiative to improve UK urban street management had delivered any real change.

MPs on the all party transport sub-committee challenged ICE senior vice president Mark Whitby to come up with examples of how initiatives such as Designing Streets for People (DSfP) had improved UK streets.

The DSfP review of street design recommends that local authorities take on a new street management code and invest more in specialist urban street management training.

Whitby, who was also speaking as chairman of the Urban Design Alliance (UDAL) of seven professional organisations including the ICE, said that local authorities were beginning to improve street life with the help of such initiatives.

Sceptical MPs asked Whitby to give specific examples of where this had happened and visibly lost patience when Whitby was unable to produce any. He said that he would find some and write to the committee.

An ICE spokesman said the committee had been unfair on Whitby.

'One MP wanted evidence of success when Designing Streets for People is not a best practice report, ' he said. 'It is a brand new ideas report that is intended to advance untried ideas - so naturally there aren't very many examples of the proposals in the UK, although there are some examples overseas.'

The full DSfP report will be published in June.

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