Traffic control produces congestion, pollutes the planet, kills the joy, sucks tens of billions from the public purse, makes roads dangerous, and yes, kills children. Spontaneous lights-out-of-action events and lights-off trials show that humans are more than capable of negotiating safe movement when free to do so. Yet most official policy and practice are still stuck in the dark ages. At a TfL conference last week, the talk was mostly about sophisticated control systems and the need for enforcement in all aspects of life on the road. Meanwhile, Ben Hamilton-Baillie and Howard Murray are pioneering a shared space scheme at the busy crossroads in Poynton, between Stoke and Stockport. Who says it can only work on streets with light traffic? A trial signal switch-off took place this week. Traffic engineers were stunned to see traffic queues melt away with no danger to pedestrians – and that’s even before junction modifications have taken place.