St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Newton Abbot, test out designs to increase cycling and walking

St Joseph’s Primary

Posted on: 26 March 2018

Pupils at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Newton Abbot tested out new street designs at a recent event aimed at encouraging more families to walk and cycle to school.

The Community Street Design event is part of a Sustrans initiative, funded by Devon County Council, to help develop ideas for improving the roads around schools. This event was an opportunity for the local community to give feedback on the proposed designs.

Design ideas included narrowing the road with planters or kerbs to create a pedestrian friendly space, colourful road markings and visual reminders for drivers that they are approaching a school.

Councillor Jackie Hook

County Councillor Jackie Hook who attended the event said feedback was very positive.

Cllr Hook said: “There is clearly a desire from people in the local community to walk and cycle more, with the majority of people saying the proposed improvements to the road would help to achieve this.”

Two-thirds of people who were asked about the new designs said they felt the proposal would encourage more people to walk and cycle, while 94 per cent of those asked said they felt the proposal would create a child-friendly street. Almost half said they would want to walk or cycle more if the improvements were installed.

Sustrans has been working with pupils and staff at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School and Devon County Council on this project for the past year. The council is funding the project as part of the Access Fund (Department for Transport Funding), which aims to encourage behavioural change by promoting active travel to local schools and workplaces in Newton Abbot.

Last year Sustrans held a number of workshops at the school which looked at how street design can impact travel choices and what potential improvements could be made along the road which runs outside the school. These ideas have informed the initial designs which were shared with the local community during the event.

The school’s Headteacher Miss Kelly Dunne said the event was enjoyed by the whole school community who enjoyed seeing the new designs.
She said: “It was such a wonderful afternoon and we were very happy to support the event in any way we could.”

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “This is a really exciting initiative to improve the environment outside of schools and encourage families to walk, cycle or scoot to school. It’s encouraging that there was such a positive response from everyone at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School and their feedback will help develop the project further.”

The local community’s views and ideas gathered at the event will help develop the design proposal further. Sustrans will continue to work with Devon County Council to identify ways to fund improvements which make it easier for children and their families to walk, cycle or scoot to school.

Follow Sustrans on Twitter: @sustransSW and Facebook: Sustrans South West. More information on Sustainable Travel in Devon is available at www.traveldevon.info.

Posted in: Community | Environment