New street designs in Midlothian

Streets have changed over the past ten years

The street layout on a new housing development can look very different from what we’re all used to. Design has changed a lot over the past ten years.

We follow government policy to make sure new streets encourage residents to enjoy outdoor space and to socialise.

The layouts, while accommodating cars, are not designed for motorists. Instead, the aim is to promote more environmentally friendly and healthy alternatives, such as walking, cycling and using public transport.

New street designs 3
Ramped entry treatment from traditional road and footway to shared space area.

Design techniques

Different colours, textures and street widths are used. Some streets have areas where pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles share space. There are often no footpaths. Instead, a different surface material, such as red block paving, denotes the shared space.

New street designs 2
Shared space street with no footways.

Encouraging cars to slow down

The aim is to design streets where vehicles slow down to 20mph or less, giving way to pedestrians, cyclists and other users. Ramped accesses and junctions are often used along with winding, narrow streets.

Streets often also have a grass verge for easy access to water, gas, electricity, and communications cables. These are not grass footways.

You should take care to park your vehicle considerately. Streets are designed to allow access for bin lorries and delivery vans. Cars obstructing essential services such as ambulances and gritters could be subject to police action.

Encouraging children to play

As new streets are designed to encourage motorists to slow down, they are much more suitable than older, traditional streets for children’s play.

However, parents or guardians are still responsible for their child’s safety. It can be dangerous for children running in and out of gardens from behind hedges and trees, even when vehicles are travelling at 20mph.

Well designed layouts should increase safety and reduce accidents.

Road markings and signs

Road markings and signs are kept to a minimum. This helps reduce clutter. Recent studies show that if there are too many signs, they are often ignored. Less is better.

New street designs 4
Raised crossroads junction entering shared space areas with no priority signs or markings.

Too many signs also causes problems for people who are visually impaired, wheelchair users and parents with prams, because footways have to be narrower to accommodate the signs. It can also impair visibility for pedestrians and other road users.

New street designs 1
Parking integrated into street layout.

More information