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Improve Your Street

Whether you are a concerned individual or a residents' group, a local authority or responsible for designing and maintaining highways, the practical advice in this section will help you to take the necessary steps to improve the streets around you. 
We have long campaigned for better recognition of the importance of streets and public spaces in the historic environment.

Over the last 50 years England's streets have been getting increasingly cluttered with a proliferation of traffic signs, bins, bollards, guard rails and other street furniture.

The result is streetscapes that are both unsightly and lack character.  There is often little sense of ownership or that anyone really cares about these public spaces.

We need co-ordinated action to reverse this decline.  This section provides lots of useful advice, including design manuals, a street audit and case studies, that can help to make our streets more attractive, distinctive and user-friendly for everyone.

Post Boxes

Traditional red post boxes are a valued part of the local scene. They are street furniture which are both a useful local amenity and a reassuring sight.

On Wednesday 15 July 2015 Historic England and Royal Mail published a renewed statement of their joint commitment to finding the best ways to ensure that post boxes are retained and well cared for wherever possible.

The document published at the bottom of this page contains Royal Mail’s policy commitment to retain all post boxes in operational service in their existing positions (unless circumstances or operational need mean that they have to be relocated or removed). It also sets out Royal Mail’s standards for the repair, refurbishment and repainting of post boxes to retain them in good order, following traditional painting schemes.  

Historic England, for their part, sets out how the listing of post boxes has been handled in the past and will be in future. The rarest and oldest examples have already been recognised by listing, and if the Royal Mail policy of retention is followed, it is unlikely that many further post boxes will be listed. Both parties recognise, however, their importance as heritage assets, whether listed or not.