Safety barriers are unsafe

* Trial reveals dangers * Removing railings cuts casualty rate by 44% * Major cities set to act on findings...

Safety barriers are unsafe

Thousands of safety barriers could be removed, after a trial found that using railings to separate pedestrians and vehicles made roads more dangerous.

During a trial in west London, all the barriers were removed from a street for three years. The number of collisions between pedestrians and vehicles fell from 71 a year to just 40, a drop of nearly 44%.

As a result of the findings, railings in Bath, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Oxford and Sheffield are expected to be removed.

In a related move, London Mayor Boris Johnson will order that signposts and utility boxes are shifted from the edge of pavements to make it easier for pedestrians and drivers to see each other.