Essex County Council (ECC) have today announced a community-led street design project to help residents living in the area have a say on how their streets can be improved.
The project, known as the Winstree Road Community Travel Plan, will engage residents, pupils, teachers, councillors and other users of the area, with an aim to eventually lead to temporary alterations in local streets.
Sustrans, a charity that makes it easier for people to walk and cycle, are working in partnership with ECC and local residents with an aim to bring people together to find solutions.
Matt Barber, Sustrans Head of Partnerships, Midlands and East, said: “We’re delighted we have been selected to spearhead this innovative community-led street design project in Winstree Road.
“It’s a completely new way of working which puts the community at the heart of decision making so they are able to shape the future of their neighbourhood. It’ll enable them to design a plan to make the area safer, less congested and more attractive to live in and travel through.”
Winstree Road is already home to three schools, The Stanway School, Stanway Fiveways Primary School, and Stanway Primary School. The new Lexden Springs School currently under construction along Winstree Road, is being built on the site of the former Heath School and will open later this year.
In total, ECC suggest more than 2,086 pupils will be attending schools within 700 yards of one another and calming traffic levels and speed during busy morning and afternoon school drop off times is a priority.
Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said: “This project will allow residents to reclaim control over their streets, it will give them a say in how those streets are shaped and it will make those streets safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
“It meets Essex County Council’s strategic aims to create great places to grow up, live and work and enable inclusive economic growth.”
The project, understood to be costing around £140,000 will start in April 2019 and will report back with findings in just under two years. Residents are encouraged to take part in engagement sessions, pop-up events on streets and activities at local schools.
Residents will also be invited to trial changes to road infrastructure using what is being described as “innovative ‘street kit’”.
The kit includes large plastic blocks which can be used to make short-term alterations to local streets, allowing engineers to analyse the impact any changes might have on traffic and pedestrian flow.
As part of the overall project, additional funding is also being set aside by ECC to make temporary improvements such as flower planters and the ability to change highway markings.