Exhibition Road Showcase
Client: Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Jointly funded by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster City Council and Transport for London
Consultant: Professor Michael Bell and his team, Imperial College Centre for Transport Studies
Expertise: Traffic monitoring and evaluation
Our consultants shared their expertise in traffic monitoring and evaluation for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea when they began work on the Exhibition Road shared space scheme.
The redesign of Exhibition Road was set to be the largest shared-space scheme in the world in terms of both numbers of pedestrians and vehicles and geographical area. Over £27 million has been spent on redeveloping the road into an area suitable for the 11.5 million visitors each year.
Like most large community projects, the Royal Borough wanted to involve the people affected by the redesign as much as possible. By hiring Imperial researchers as consultants to the project, they’ve not only received world class expert advice, but also generated enthusiasm within the College community about the scheme.
Through Imperial Consultants, the Royal Borough had access to world class expertise and advice on traffic monitoring. Students at the Centre for Transport Studies worked on monitoring a number of different stages of the project. From video analysis of vehicle-pedestrian conflicts to performing skid resistance tests on different surfaces, the results they presented to the design board were invaluable to the development of the scheme.
Accessibility was a key concern for the site designers, and Professor Bell and his team have also monitored and evaluated the pedestrian experience and the willingness of pedestrians and drivers to share the road.
Various projects to revitalise Exhibition Road have been promoted since the early 1990s, but the shared-space scheme was the first to receive funding and actually be implemented. The scheme makes Exhibition Road the most accessible cultural destination in the world, realising the vision of Prince Albert when he first drove the development around Exhibition Road in the 1850s.
Professor Mike Bell comments:
This scheme is unique – the largest of its kind in the world. It’s fantastic to be involved with this project as it’s a real-life traffic engineering scheme for our students to work with.
Professor – Imperial College Centre for Transport Studies
Bill Mount, lead officer for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea comments:
Imperial has an incredibly good reputation and is also on Exhibition Road – the combination was almost too good to be true! This project and our involvement with Imperial doesn’t end when the construction work does. It’s a long-term relationship with a wealth of potential student projects – there are still monitoring and technology improvements to be made to the area.
Lead Officer – Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
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