Stepping off the Road to Nowhere: nationwide tour

Taking the ‘Stepping off the Road to Nowhere’ report ‘on the road/rails’ across the country to encourage vision-led transport planning policy.
Create Streets

Focus of work

We face a climate crisis, declining productivity, record levels of physical inactivity and increasing inequality in access to work, services and natural space. Too many new urban extensions, driven by the need for new homes, are delivered hand in hand with new highways infrastructure, such as a major new junction, by-pass or road widening scheme, based on ‘Predict & Provide’ transport modelling. These highways schemes are enormously costly. Local authorities spent 29% of their budget on highways and transport in addition to the government’s £27bn road building budget.

These roads tend to support low value-add development, not denser mixed-use places with the agglomeration effects which often increase economic activity. Instead, money could be better directed into sustainable transport and placemaking: buses, rail, local services and active travel. This would normally enhance local economic growth, prosperity, health, sustainable development and equity. While much research has covered the negative effects of constructing large roads, Create Streets’s report ‘Stepping off the Road to Nowhere’ demonstrates how changing the underlying policy levers can lead to a direct change in infrastructure spending.

Create Streets’s outreach programme will demonstrate, nationwide, how to execute vision-led transport planning. By reaching local authority planning and highway’s teams, they can spearhead cultural change within highways teams and directly influence Local Plans and Local Transport Plans.


Create Streets’s outreach project aims to directly target the highways and planning departments in England whose decisions determine the infrastructure and development that gets built in the UK. The main beneficiaries for the project would be future residents of housing, in that they would no longer be trapped in car-dependency.

Early discussions with local authorities have revealed a strong appetite for vision-led transport approach, but a lack of understanding a better way to developing housing extensions.

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