Nominations for the best town for driving award 2014

Our first nomination for this award goes to Stone in Staffordshire

What makes Stone such a great place great to drive?

  • Stone has lots of parking spaces

We visited Stone Staying at the excellent Stone House Hotel 

Note the limited parking space in this old picture. Now the excellent hotel has removed the lawn to make place for many more cars to park

There’s not even one cycle rack.

(This poor cyclists struggled to get his bike through the warren of passages in this quaint hotel to his room



You can park on the pedestrian precinct

You can park behind most shops and banks on the high street.

  • In Stone parking is free or cheap

£3 a day to park in town

Parking is free if you drive to health centre

  • Stone has clear separate space for driving

Barriers help prevent walkers from getting in the way and those pavements make it difficult to walk. Walkers are safely behind barriers decorated with flowers that can best be seen from a car. It maybe hard to cross the road on foot but no-one really needs to walk anywhere. Restaurants and pubs all have good sized car parks.

Most of the space in town is given to people who choose to drive. Locals would rather drive the short distance to work in town rather than walk or cycle since driving is so easy. The town centre is surrounded by a multi-lane gyratory which makes passing through Stone easy for people driving from Stafford to Stoke-On-Trent. Some people would rather drive through Stone than use the motorway (see map below).

There are some problems with this as noted on a local website A Little Bit of Stone. It seems that people who work within the ring road gyratory can’t get their cars out of the centre car parks after work because all the other drivers enjoying the space for driving.

  • Stone has great views for drivers passing through

The pretty town centre looks best through the windscreen of a car. The railing by the road are decorated with flowers as part of Stone on Bloom. So beautiful we’d rather spend the day riding round the ring road than walking round a National Trust garden

  • In Stone you can drive anywhere

Driving along the pedestrian precinct is fine. You can’t cycle there, (note the ‘cyclists dismount’ sign) and no one seems (needs) to walk there.

You can drive on the grass in the recreational spaces around the town

  • Stone people tolerate a little collateral damage


A little pollution, noise,occasional congestion, obesity, heart disease and the occasional injury or death are a small price to pay for the freedom to drive

Stone is only 3 miles across

View Larger Map

Which is why we nominate Stone, Staffordshire

for Best Town For Motoring Award 2014

Which town will you nominate?

8 thoughts on “Award for best driving town

  1. Pingback: What makes a town good for car driving? - London Fixed-gear and Single-speed

  2. Ruth Mayorcas

    Our councillors would like to make Chiswick, a small ‘town’ blessed with a myriad of bus routes, tube stations and trains, into a stop and shop parking paradise – so I nominate it – Sundays it is one long traffic jam with cars parked left and right!

  3. Pingback: 2012-12-11 - London's Drive to Work Day - Page 3 - London Fixed-gear and Single-speed

  4. David Post author

    Simon thanks for reading,
    We did see one which was a good shortcut allowing cyclists and buses through but not cars. That needs removing. I;m sure the people living in the estate there wouldn’t mind a few hundred lorries using there estate as a short cut. The other cycle lanes we saw were on the pavement with pedestrians which is great for drivers.

  5. James Lowe

    Just to make sure you understand how appalled I was by this here is my comment from a Little Bit of Stone
    ‘I would first of all like to say that having read the article attached I find Mr David Dansky’s article probably the shoddiest, most disrespectful piece of journalism I have ever read. Quite frankly he can stay in London and away from our perfectly nice little town!
    As someone who admits they do not live in the town he clearly has no understanding of our town, its demographic and have made all of their conclusions on weak biased evidence. If he was a lawyer his case would just have been laughed out of court! Shall we start with Stone’s demographic. Like I said I am a teenager (One of many who uses our very safe pavements to walk to school EVERY single day) who has not access to a car and will walk pretty much everywhere.
    It is a pretty open fact that most of the rest of Stone is of an older demograpic. Many of our residents are either commuters or elderly. Commuters live in our town because it has great connections out to the motorway and towards Uttoxeter and Stoke. At this point I will point out some of the most blindingly ignorant assertions in his article. Firstly that people come off the motorway and drive through stone to stoke. NO If you come off the motorway you go up the A34 and would never set foot on the ring road. A lot of traffic does pass through town to go up the Longton Road (A520) hence we have a requirement for a safe usable system for many people passing through the town. Back to the demographic shall I now mention the elderly. Many of these people are highly active but it must be said some will need the use of car transport to get into town as a half an hour walk from some of the furthest reaches can be hard work for those who are ill of health.
    The town square is never normally parked upon especially during the week and it is clear he has not taken time to gauge the actual usage. If he cared to visit the high street in the week I’m sure he would find it quite a hub of activity during the day!
    What I perhaps find the most ridiculous is that he quotes local articles one of which doesn’t appear to be in Stone and I find no evidence that these are linked to the town centre!
    Also may I suggest the picture of the damaged groud upon our public space is probably due to vehicles using it during one of our many highly successful community events. During our recent Food Festival we operated a park and ride out at Aston Marina keeping traffic out of the town! He clearly have no idea about any of this.
    Now I’m not trying to say the town is perfect. Some of the lighting signals are timed very badly both obstructing traffic flow and pedestrians. If he is so desperate to help please I suggest he direct inquiries to Stafford Borough Council on this matter!
    By attacking our town it appears to insinuate residents choose to drive all the time. Please could I see the questionnaire of scientific evidence of this or if not I’d suggest the removal of this article from the internet!
    Remove the safety barriers surrounding our town centre and I will seriously reconsider if I feel safe walking to school every morning. I have never taken to commenting on an article like this before but I am truly angered and appalled by it!’


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