The Landscape Guide

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Transport: from highway engineering to green planning

Green Transport Policy

  1. Historic roads should be conserved.
  2. Cities need experts in planning for each transport mode (train, car, bus, cycle, pedestrian, horse, skates etc) and experts in the integration of transport modes.
  3. Provision for cycling should receive budgetry priority.
  4. Citizens should have access to public transport via environmentally pleasant 'green' routes, for walking, cycling, riding, skating or canoeing. The young, the old, the poor and the dispossessed should have access to public transport or green transport. Well-used walks should enjoy the benefit of visual policing and should be safe from the dangers of drunk drivers, joy-riders and runaway trucks.
  5. While waiting for a bus or train, it should be possible to sit in comfort, sometimes in the sun and amongst flowers. Coffee and newspapers should be on sale. There should be a shelter with seats. 
  6. Road planning cannot and should not be separated from other aspects of planning. So road designers must think about pedestrians, nature reserves, water management, recreation, architecture and the noble art of bridge design. They can learn from their medieval predecessors who understood that engineering to be the exercise of ingenuity.
  7. For the soul, to travel is better than to arrive.


Transport planning has been dominated by single-purpose planners and civil engineers.

To civilise means 'reclaim from barbarism'.This requires transport. Without it we would have no cities, no mass production, no specialisation, no journeys to work, no tourism, no modern conveniences. Civil engineering is vital.

But the planning and design of roads, like other modes of transport, tends to become the preserve of blinkered specialists infatuated with the dream of maximising the transport mode for which they assume responsibility. They ignore other public goods. They neglect EID.

Historic conservation Historic roads are as deserving of conservation as ancient buildings, woodlands and other landscape features.

Adaptation to context Road design must relate to its context, as must the design of buildings and other prominent structures.

Multi-mode transport We can have a far greater range of route-types than at present, and better links between transport modes.

Bridleways Roads were made for horses.

Green residential roads Houses can front onto green roads.

Urban avenues Cities can have new avenues.

Panoramic roads Driving can be a pleasure.

Leisure roads Many journeys, but few roads, are planned for leisure.

Off-roads Off-road driving is enjoyable but can be damaging.

Speed roads Speeding can be allowed in some places.

Roads in public parks They were designed for horses and should carry horses.

Railways Railways require environmental impact design.

Cycleways Cycleways can be beautiful, safe and luxurious.

Skateways Skating is fun.

Canals Canals should not belong to transport agencies.

Footways Pedestrians should be pampered.

Pedestrianisation schemes If the are to succeed, knowledge, imagination and design judgement must be employed.

Traffic calming 'Traffic calming' is a bad name for a good idea.

Streets Bring back the street.

Transport planning Transport modes have to be integrated, with each other and with the environment.


Hass-Klau, C. 1990. The pedestrian and city traffic. London:Belhaven Press.

McClusky, J. 1979. Road form and townscape. London:Architectural Press.

Buchanan, C.D., 1963 Traffic in towns London:HMSO.

Turner, T, Landscape planning and environmental impact design. London:UCL Press 1998 Chapter 10