Scottish Public Realm information and Advice Network


 Free service for all professionals from all backgrounds involved in the public realm - linked with PRIAN - www.publicrealm.info

Supporting the ICE Scotland Municipal Group, professionals and local authorities in Scotland

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Summaries to download

Manual for Streets 2007 edition pdf 
A summary of Designing Streets will appear when the final version is published by the Scottish Government.  Roads Authorities as "roads authorities" have discretion to use any design guidance they choose.

Local Transport Notes

These summaries may be freely used and copied

Core documents

Highway Risk and Liability Claims 2009  
(basis of Annex C Well maintained roads)

Well Maintained Roads - Code of Practice for Highway Maintenance Management (2005) UK Roads Liaison Group

Police Road Death Investigation Manual 2007 - ACPO/National Policing Improvement Agency


Presentations to download

Presentations give at the Framework for Streets event Perth 28th August 2009

Learn Axonometric drawing in 4 minutes ppt
Download this PowerPoint Presentation to learn how to make your own 3 D scale drawings - being able to realise what your scheme will look like is an essential part of good design, all you will need is some axonometric paper.

-Public lighting - Natalie Bell  Kevan Shaw Associates





Public Realm Myths
Why do myths occur
- research incorrectly summarised and re-quoted
- research poorly designed
- biased studies
- where something is totally "obvious" when rather more considered thought would show it to be fallacious.
- professionals don't use their "inquiring minds" to challenge what they hear or read.

20mph speeds increase fuel consumption - in fact they reduce fuel consumption and free streets for use by cyclists, and pedestrians.  They also cut tyre noise to a level that permits easy conversation in a street. 

CCTV cameras cut violent crime - they can be effective at preventing planned crime - eg theft from vehicles, they are not effective at preventing alcohol related crime.  The needs of the CCTV operator should not be the primary design imperative for the lighting of a high street.  

Street lighting cuts crime - a Home Office meta-analysis found that new lighting schemes reduced lighting more in the daytime than at night, suggesting that there is a "community custodianship" effect.

Painting yellow boxes in front of ATM machines reduces crime - if only it did, then we could solve the nation's crime problems by painting yellow boxes all over the place.

Standards are compulsory - standards of themselves have no legal standing, many have been drawn up on the basis of opinion rather than robust research.  Some standards reflect a narrow interest (such as providers or manufacturers) rather than the interests of society as a whole.  Standards are only a legal requirement when a piece of legislation or regulation makes them a requirement.

There is a duty to provide street lighting: a council will become liable for accidents if it doesn't provide lighting - There is no duty to provide street lighting - Local authorities have a power to provide street lighting.  No liability attaches to not exercising a statutory power, unless to do so would be wholly irrational.

Unless a local authority lights to a 20 lux standard it will be liable if an accident occurs - there is no basis in law for this assertion.  The lighting standards are advisory.


  Qualifications and Training in the Public Realm


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Useful links

Municipal engineering archive - a listing of the index of the proceedings of the Institution of Municipal Engineers from 1874 to 1970.


For case studies and reference information about best practice in the public realm


Guidance on particular subjects is listed here:


A range of case studies are available on this site


Further information is provided here