CIHT: A new approach to safety and civility for rural roads

Traffic in Villages: A Toolkit for Communities will be launched at the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) on Tuesday 6 December and has been long awaited by professionals and communities alike. Endorsed by CIHT, CPRE, the RTPI and others, it builds on the principles that Manual for Streets and Manual for Streets 2 has introduced for urban communities, helping them to find new solutions for getting a better balance for people and place in rural streets and spaces.

Traffic is part of rural life. Small communities rely on cars and lorries for economic and social connections. But ever-growing traffic can also destroy the very qualities that allow rural communities to attract people, visitors and investment to villages. Searching for new ways to reconcile the relationship between places and traffic remains at the top of the agenda for most parish councils and local communities.

Developing a partnership approach to road management has been an important and continuing strand of work in the sensitive landscape of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership (DAONB). This Toolkit represents an important step forward in helping communities and highway authorities work together to value and conserve local distinctiveness.

Andy Foot, Chair of the DAONB said:

“By providing a step by step approach to making our rural roads so much better, we hope the Toolkit will empower communities to embrace their rural roads with confidence and enthusiasm. I'm proud that the Dorset AONB Partnership have produced this Toolkit and hope it will inspire community action in other landscapes too.”

David Gillham, CIHT President said:

“Traffic in Villages – Safety and Civility for Rural Roads is an important addition to the growing guidance that assists built environment professionals. On behalf of the Institution, I am pleased to commend the toolkit to all those who are involved in the planning, construction and improvement of our streets and highways.”

Contact for more information & comment:
Sue Mitchell, Dorset AONB Partnership, t: 01305 228236 e:
Ben Hamilton-Baillie t: 0117 9114221 e:
Daniel Isichei, CIHT, t: 020 7336 1567 e:

Notes for Editors

Traffic in Villages

The publication of Traffic in Villages provides a basic primer for low-speed, place-sensitive street design to address an important gap in traffic engineering. The new study lays out a toolkit for understanding a series of simple, low-cost interventions that can be adapted and planned at a local level to minimise the impact of traffic.

It is intended to guide and inform parish councillors and local residents about steps they can take, whilst improving the dialogue between local communities and overstretched highway authorities.

Traffic in Villages extends the principles of the recently published Manual for Streets to find ways to minimise the impact of traffic in smaller rural towns and villages. It includes practical advice on ways to reduce speeds and highway clutter, and to retain local distinctiveness. It is illustrated with a range of case studies from around the UK. The document is available as a free download from and

The Dorset AONB Partnership

The Dorset AONB Partnership brings together 20 organisations to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of this nationally important landscape. The Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers over 40% of the county, and is one of a family of 49 AONBs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Villages in Action Toolkit is the latest in a number of publications produced by the Dorset AONB to ensure that local distinctiveness and character of the nationally important protected AONB landscapes are considered by Highways Authorities when caring out their work.

Author – Ben Hamilton-Baillie

Ben Hamilton-Baillie is director of Hamilton-Baillie Associates, a Bristol-based consultancy specialising in urban design, traffic and movement.

Ben has pioneered a number of new approaches to traffic engineering and street design in the UK and mainland Europe, finding ways to slow speeds, improve safety and reduce highway clutter. His work with rural communities combines a careful understanding of individual places with research into driver psychology.

Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation

CIHT is a membership organisation representing over 12,000 people who work in the highways and transportation sector.

CIHT members plan, design, build, operate and maintain best-in-class transport systems and infrastructure, whilst respecting the imperatives of improving safety, ensuring economic competitiveness and minimising environmental impact.

CIHT supports its member’s professional endeavours by:
• offering training, information, professional development and support
• promoting the value added to society by the profession
• being the focused voice to Governments and other decision makers on transportation expertise and knowledge.

For more information please contact:

Daniel Isichei, Director of Communications, CIHT on t: +44 (0) 20 7336 1567 m: 07912122573 e:

Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation
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