Hampshire County Council has adopted the ‘Hampshire Companion Document to Manual for Streets’ as a refreshing new approach to street design. As a result the old prescriptive 'rule book of standards which was government guidance for many years is replaced by a new approach to street design which recognises the needs of local communities and the need for good, safe access to services.
A street is a highway that has public realm functions associated with buildings, spaces and pedestrians and where there is a strong sense of place, as well as dealing with the movement of traffic. Most new highways in built up areas with a design speed of less than 30 mph can be considered as streets. Also existing highways where at least 85% of vehicles are recorded as travelling at below 37.5mph can be considered as streets.
The Companion Document helps practitioners to understand the locality of any proposed development and to design spaces which are locally distinctive. This will help to reflect the diversity of Hampshire's landscape, towns and villages. It also gives them the flexibility to design places to meet local needs and which contribute to the quality of life of local communities. It should be used in conjunction with the Department for Transport's 'Manual for Streets'.
Although the Companion Document will be used mainly by developers, designers and planners, it has been written with the needs of local planning authorities, town and parish councils, the emergency services and local disability access groups in mind. We have talked to all these groups during the writing of the document and so it is for anyone to use.
Please note that this companion document is currently under review with an update expected to be published by Spring 2016. In the meantime please note that the Design Life required for new carriageway pavements is 40 years (rather than the 60 years stated on page 82 (3.34.3)).