The introduction of 'naked' streets without road signs, barriers and traffic lights could lead to increased insurance claims against local authorities, according Richard West, partner at law firm Kennedys.

"Even if the number of accidents does not increase, the ability of the public to accept personal responsibility for their own failings may well be hampered if they have no clear guidelines on where to walk, cross streets or drive."

A pilot scheme is to be introduced on Exhibition Road, London, home of the Victoria and Albert museum.

Public sector insurer Zurich Municipal claims manager Alan Hunter said he would like to know of any schemes which proved to reduce risk to the public.