Published: 7th MARCH 2019

Community street design project puts power back in the hands of Essex residents

Sustrans has been commissioned by Essex County Council to deliver a community-led street-design project enabling residents living in and around Winstree Road, Colchester, to have a say on how their streets can be improved.

Green and orange plastic blocks on city street

A “street kit”, pictured above, will be used by residents during the project to trial changes to road infrastructure.

The project, known as the Winstree Road Community Travel Plan, will engage residents, pupils, teachers, councillors and other users of the area, and will eventually lead to temporary alterations to local streets.

Winstree Road is already home to three schools, The Stanway School, Stanway Fiveways Primary School, and Stanway Primary School. The new Lexden Springs School is being built on the site of the former Heath School and will open later this year.

These schools, which together have 2,086 pupils, are all within 700 yards of one another and calming traffic levels and speed during busy morning and afternoon school drop off times is a priority.

The project will start in April and will report back with its findings in just under two years. Residents can take part in engagement sessions, pop-up events on streets and activities at local schools.

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“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.” Blockquote quotation marks
Matt Barber

Residents will also be invited to trial changes to road infrastructure using our innovative ‘street kit’.

The kit includes large plastic blocks which can be used to make short-term alterations to local streets. This allows engineers to analyse the impact any changes might have on traffic and pedestrian flow. It also gives residents the chance to experience changes before they are permanent and then give feedback on those changes.

Also included in the project is a small amount of funding to make temporary improvements such as flower planters and the ability to change highway markings.

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.”

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.”

Sustrans is keen to hear from anyone who has a view or wishes to get involved in the consultation. Residents should email for more information.

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