Resurfacing Of Exhibition Road Complete

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 75 months ago
Resurfacing Of Exhibition Road Complete
Ridges and the occasional bollard demarcate the road from the pavement
Ridges and the occasional bollard demarcate the road from the pavement

Several years and £30m later, the conversion of Exhibition Road, Kensington into a shared-space thoroughfare, in which there are no pavements and traffic and pedestrians use the same surface, is complete. Yesterday saw the official launch ceremony.

Reaction to the project has been mixed. Guide Dogs for the Blind have repeatedly criticised the scheme, arguing that removing the kerb will put visually impaired pedestrians at risk. The Observer's architecture critic Rowan Moore welcomed the redesign, while Simon Jenkins was also supportive in his Evening Standard column this week.

We took a walk along Exhibition Road last month, which is when the pictures above were taken. The overall effect is pleasing: the criss-cross grid pattern on the street creates the sense of a pedestrianised zone, and the absence of clutter and street furniture is welcome, as are the benches, though given the frigid air they weren't much in use during our visit. There's a relaxed pace, no doubt aided by the new 20mph speed limit along the road.

There were some awkward moments, particularly at the southern end, near South Kensington station, where vehicles and pedestrians got in the way of one another. At this end there's been something of a compromise involving some raised sections in the middle of the street, which are a little out of place. A minor gripe, but overall the scheme is a promising one, at least when seen on a cold winter's day. We'll have to wait until the summer tourist season to really gauge how effective it is.

Last Updated 02 February 2012

Pot hole Pete

does anybody remember the red brick road they put down in the Isle of Dogs. Lets hope this one is made better.


I've said before and I'll say again - what the hell was the point in this???????


I like it! Bit different, bit fun, feels a bit "european" innit. 


Makes me want to cry... Mad civil engineers. A pavement that shouts at you (at least blind people can't hear it)

Harriet Connides

Does anyone know if the disabled parking spaces outside the side entrance of the V&A have been re-instated?  I havent been able to visit while the pavement  was being laid...

Not so much

I walk down Exhibition Road every day on the way to and from work, and while it looks nice and the wider pavements are useful, there needs to be more clearly defined pavements. The criss-cross pattern means that on a particular corner taxis almost run me over on a regular basis because they're cutting the corner to such an extent (although that's likely down to them being taxi drivers rather than the pattern).

They also need to enforce the 'give way to pedestrians' rule. I have to cross the road in rush hour every morning and not once has a vehicle given way to me or the people around me, nor are they sticking to the speed limit. In fact the other day a poor woman crossing the street was beeped at very aggressively for daring to be crossing the road before the car had even turned into Exhibition Road.

Nice in theory but not so much in execution. If you're going to introduce an area like this you need to actually enforce the rules and publicise widely the fact that the area has changed.

Julie Shrive

Your problem had the title: Yet again

     And details: Dear Malcolm Rifkind MP ,

     Please check all London venues public & private - including

     yours the V&A return to last bastion of decency by restoring

     Disabled access it has allowed local LA to remove & not


     SENT TO THE V&A NB Your website does not give truth as the 12

     disabled spaces no longer as Call Centre DID NOTHING even when

     informed x 4 . Ignoring Chronically Sick & Disabled Act 1970

     PUT ON INTERNET re DISABLED PROVISION that the V& A has ignored

     allowing LA to remove - legal ?

     I have mentioned it over 4 x even on Fix My Street over 2 years

     to staff taking it in turns to be the Manager . However if you

     want to act legally & ethically you don't leave decisions to a

     call centre. On Monday the doorman said blame Boris & the

     Customer Desk said write in after drove round & round nearly

     causing an accident as a free for all . Eventually found the

     one Disabled place in Imperial College car park at a price . Do

     they not pay Council Tax & are they not considered a Resident

     what is local MP & Councillors doing allowing LA to

     discriminate ? Come the Olympics .... Oh dear.They don't

     advertise state of affairs telling you not to go. This is

     enough to give you another cardiac arrest.

     Yours sincerely,

     Julie Shrive


     The FixMyStreet team