Pupils become Street Designers

cropped school street design

Paige, Bailey and Finlay

With support from The Bridgwater Ways’ DIY Streets team, pupils at Hamp Academy have been learning how to beat congestion by design.

In a three week project, Hamp Academy has looked at congestion on Rhode Lane, Bridgwater at School drop-off and pick-up time. Through this, Year 4 pupils have learnt that the way streets are designed affects how people get about by bike and foot.

In the final session, school children worked with an urban designer to develop their own designs to tackle congestion.

No barriers were placed on imagination, so the ideas included flower trampolines and a system of tunnels. The ideas will now be looked at by a professional designer who will incorporate some of the children’s ambitions into real designs for the road.

The original designs and the completed professional design were unveiled to the school in an assembly earlier this month. The sessions were organised and run by Sustrans DIY Streets team which forms part of The Bridgwater Way.

The team will now be working with the school and councils to assess the feasibility of implementing these designs.

Cllr Harvey Siggs, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “This was a fun and creative way to get local children involved in the Bridgwater Way project. By giving them the chance to come up with ideas to reduce congestion, they have also been given a valuable insight into how cycling and travelling by foot is great for the environment and their health.”

Funded by the Department for Transport, The Bridgwater Way includes 6.5miles of new or improved cycle paths and walking routes and a host of activities to encourage sustainable transport and ease congestion. It is being delivered through a partnership of Somerset County Council, Sustrans and Sedgemoor District Council.

Funding for The Bridgwater Way has come from the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF), successfully bid for by Somerset County Council and Sustrans.

Other aspects of the project include:
• Cycle Training – Anyone can also take part in cycle training and cycle maintenance training. These can be tailored to all abilities and ages and can be on a one-to-one basis, or to a small group or family. Visit our website for details. All courses are free.
• Businesses travel planning – Work with businesses in the town to improve the commute to work through new bike lock ups and facilities, cycle safety training for staff and preparing for major investment such as the Colley Lane Link.
• Bike It Plus (provided by Sustrans) – Work with schools to encourage pupils to be more active on their journey to school and to promote cycling, scooting and walking as an alternative to the car.
• Cycle services – Help and training for cycle repairs and maintenance is being given to school children across the area through the popular Dr Bike scheme.
This sort of support is also available to businesses in the area through a ‘repair and ride’ scheme which can tackle up to 20 bikes at a time.