Manual for Streets

In 2007 the Department for Transport published Manual for Streets, which provided guidance on the design, construction and maintenance of residential streets based on a detailed appraisal of operational factors and the findings of current empirical research.

Manual For Streets replaces Design Bulletin 32, first published in 1977, and its companion guide Places, Streets and Movement.

Manual For Streets updates the link between planning policy and residential street design.  It refocuses on the place function of residential streets, giving clear guidance on how to achieve well-designed streets and spaces that serve the community in a range of ways.

For the purpose of Manual for Streets, a street is defined as a highway that has important public realm functions beyond the movement of traffic. Most highways in built-up areas can be considered as streets.

Manual for Streets is directed at all those involved with (but not exclusive to) the planning, design, approval or adoption of new residential streets, and modification of existing residential streets.

The aims of Manual For Streets include :-

  • Bring about a transformation in the quality of streets;
  • Better designed streets contribute significantly to the quality of the built environment and play a key role in the  creation of sustainable, inclusive, mixed communities consistent with the objectives of planning policy;
  • Predominately used for the design, construction, adoption and maintenance of new residential streets, but it is also applicable to existing residential streets (subject to context);
  • Streets should not be designed just to accommodate the movement of motor vehicles.  Designers are required to place high priority on meeting the requirements of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users, so that growth in these modes of travel is encouraged.

The main changes in the approach to street design that Manual for Streets recommends is summarised as follows:-

  • Applying a user hierarchy to the design process with pedestrians at the top;
  • Emphasising a collaborative approach to the delivery of streets;
  • Recognising the importance of the community function of streets as spaces for social interaction;
  • Promoting an inclusive environment that recognises the needs of people of all ages and abilities;
  • Reflecting and supporting pedestrian desire lines in networks and detailed designs;
  • Developing master plans and preparing design codes that implement them for larger-scale developments, and using design and access statements for all scales of development;
  • Creating networks of streets that provide permeability and connectivity to main destinations and a choice of routes;
  • Moving away from hierarchies of standard road types based on traffic flows and/or the number of buildings served;
  • Developing street character types on a location-specific basis with reference to both the place and movement functions for each street;
  • Encouraging innovation with a flexible approach to street layouts and the use of locally distinctive, durable and maintainable materials and street furniture;
  • Using quality audit systems that demonstrate how designs will meet key objectives for the local environment;
  • Designing to keep vehicle speeds at or below 20mph on residential streets unless there are overriding reasons for accepting higher speeds; and
  • Using the minimum of highway design features necessary to make the streets work properly.

During its preparation, efforts have been made to ensure that Manual for Streets represents a broad consensus and that it is widely accepted as good practice.

Manual for Streets is a key document utilised in highway design and preparation of the Transport Assessment. The principles of the document reach beyond residential developments and encompass the broad principles of highway design requirements for a variety of locations and situations.

You may view Manual for Streets in PDF format here.

Require Assistance with a Highway Planning Matters?

Sanderson Associates have extensive experience in assisting our Clients with Highway Planning Matters for a wide variety of major and minor developments throughout the whole of the UK, Isle of Man and Ireland.

We would be pleased to provide you with our competitive fee proposal to provide you with our services, please call us on 01924 844080 or click here to complete our secure online form.


What our Clients' say:

Technical Letter in Support of Residential Development

Thu 28 July 2016

Recently worked with Robert in order to turn round a planning application which was being recommended for refusal due to Highways objections at the eleventh hour. On this one we had to really think out of the box quickly to mitigate the concerns. Robert was instrumental in coming up with options and innovative ideas and […]

Stage 3 Road Safety Audit

Mon 25 July 2016

The service provided was professional direct to the point and alternatives were provided on discussion of the reports requirements, a user friendly service in every way to a legacy job with very little background information. Thank you Steven Johnston – Keepmoat Regeneration Ltd

Flood Risk Assessment, Proposed Residential Development.

Fri 8 July 2016

Thank you for your assistance on the Flood Risk assessment in relation to our works being carried out at the house. I would like to add that I only called yesterday seeking advice on a flood risk assessment not knowing what it entails and you have acted extremely quickly. You listened and gave valuable, honest […]

Highways Advice, Proposed Residential Development, Micklepage Paddock

Wed 29 June 2016

I would just like to reiterate my thanks, together with those of my clients, for all the work that you did in assisting to obtain planning permission for the above project. Highways had always indicated that being able to provide adequate sight lines onto the main road would be a major factor in determining this […]

Advice on Site Drainage

Wed 22 June 2016

We consulted Sanderson Associates with regard to a surface water drainage design issue that we had recently. They were prompt in their response to us and were able to cut right through to the heart of the problem and provide advice that was direct and uncomplicated. The information provided satisfied the requirements of the local […]

Highway Advice – Testimonial

Mon 9 May 2016

Bob came to the island as an, ‘expert witness’, in a Planning Appeal, for a sizeable property build, essentially covering the Highway issues. After meeting Bob the day before the Appeal, it was abundantly clear this chap, ‘knew his stuff’. His consummate professionalism, experience and knowledge came though at the Hearing, contributing to the process […]

Transport Report in Opposition to Proposed Large Scale Housing

Tue 5 April 2016

We commissioned a Transport Report from Sanderson’s in opposition to a proposed large scale housing development near us. Ian Ladbrooke provided professional expertise in identifying the transport issues and the flaws in the developer’s transport assessment. His input proved invaluable and ultimately the application was refused on transport grounds. The report was delivered on time […]

Swept Path Analysis, Proposed Extension to Industrial Development

Mon 7 December 2015

As an independent property developer I was asked for a swept path analysis to aid my planning application. I googled and found Sanderson Associates, never had I heard of them before. I have to say from the start they were extremely professional and very prompt. I asked for many amendments on my analysis at the […]

Residential Development and Agricultural Access

Wed 16 September 2015

In my work as a planning consultant, I have come across a number of intransigent highway officers. Engaging Sandersons has allowed me to overcome these problems and secure planning consent for some difficult sites. They offer efficient and professional service which I can thoroughly recommend. Adrian Rose, Rose Consulting

Swept Path Analysis – Residential Development

Wed 5 August 2015

 Many thanks for the final swept path analysis drawings. Can I also say that its been a pleasure, and we will definitely use your services again on future projects. Richard On behalf of C E Gilbert & Son Developments Ltd

Manual for Streets, Department For Transport Highway Design Transport Assessment