It is a sign of the times when a city’s most controversial road layout is voted the best of British.
But Preston’s “shared space” scheme, roundly condemned by both drivers and pedestrians alike, has just won a national award for reducing street clutter.
And road planners reckon the £3.4m Fishergate Central Gateway Project is the shape of things to come as streets are cleared of unnecessary traffic signs, railings, phone boxes, advertising boards and anything else that gets in the way of free-spending shoppers.
“The lessons learnt during this project are being applied to the rest of the county as we try to cut down on unnecessary street signs,” revealed Coun John Fillis, the county council’s cabinet member for highways and transport.
The Reducing Sign Clutter award, sponsored jointly by the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and the Department for Transport, recognises the best examples of schemes from around the country which have decluttered urban or rural areas.