Mahmood Siddiqi, Director for Transport and Highways, RB Kensington and Chelsea & LB Hammersmith and Fulham

Mahmood SiddiqiMahmood Siddiqi is Director for Transport and Highways at both the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

He is responsible for highway maintenance, network management, transportation policy and parking enforcement in the two boroughs where there are as many differences as there are commonalities. He has been instrumental in capitalising bi-borough working to bring significant savings to both Councils through sharing resources, joint procurement and comparing methods.

Drawing on a career spanning three decades, Mahmood has worked on some of the most iconic public realm schemes in the capital including Oxford Street and Kensington High Street. More recently he was responsible for the refurbishment of Exhibition Road which broke new ground in the design of public spaces.

Presentation: Exhibition Road: Removing the tension between traffic and pedestrians

Exhibition Road in South Kensington attracts 11 million visitors each year but until 2011, it was a car-dominated environment where most of the available road space was designated for moving traffic and parking. There is now significantly more space for pedestrians following the street’s refurbishment.

This was achieved not through pedestrianisation but (controversially) by introducing ambiguity. This presentation reflects on the scheme five years on and asks whether it has opened the floodgates to more innovative public realm projects.