Hero image

St Johns Wood High-Street


Description of Works
Working with Westminster City Council and WSP, FM Conway set out to explore how the design of highway crossings could be further developed to encourage traffic calming, as part of regular maintenance works delivered in the borough.  The result has been the introduction of the UK’s first ‘3D’ road markings – an optical illusion but one with the power to help improve safety for drivers and pedestrians.     

Services used on this project Surfacing
Delivering Innovation

With WSP, FM Conway is responsible for delivering highway maintenance and improvement projects for Westminster City Council.  The idea to try something different for road markings came as part of routine resurfacing works for St John’s Wood high street, in the north west of the borough.  

Oliver Scutts, contracts manager – specialist surfacing at FM Conway, explains: “Having assessed the area’s needs and resident feedback, it became clear that a new Zebra crossing was required, especially to support the growth of local schools.

“We took it as an opportunity to consider something different and WSP highlighted examples of new 3D-style crossings that have been introduced in Europe.  By appearing to be obstacles in the road, the designs encourage drivers to slow down when coming up to crossings, ensuring they can stop in time if a pedestrian is about to cross.”  

St Johns Wood High-Street thumbnail

It sounds simple but with some clever use of perspective, this project could help to reduce traffic incidents on Westminster’s streets, making it a safer place for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

Oliver Scutts - Contracts Manager at FM Conway

After consultation with Westminster City Council, the team decided to trial the new approach on Sutherland Avenue, just off the high street.  For the illusion to work, FM Conway needed to experiment with the laying technique and the colour of the markings’ ‘shadow’ so that they would appear realistic.  

After a successful trial, designs were confirmed with the manufacturer of the thermoplastic markings that would be installed on the high street.  These pre-fabricated products were laid by FM Conway and then heated to permanently fix them to the road surface.  

Oliver continues: “Westminster City Council will be monitoring the new 3D crossing over the coming months to assess its impact.  It sounds simple but with some clever use of perspective, this project could help to reduce traffic incidents on Westminster’s streets, making it a safer place for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.”