We're working on a community-led street design project in Bridgend with local residents to create a safer, more attractive street.
Parc y Rhos is a small cul-de-sac near the centre of Pencoed. In Summer 2016, we were approached by Valleys to Coast, affordable housing provider, to lead a community-led street design process to help develop ideas for how to create a safe and friendly space for the residents of Parc y Rhos to enjoy.
This project is being delivered in partnership with Wild Spirit for Valleys to Coast Housing.
Starting a conversation
We started the project by talking to the residents to understand what problems they are facing and collaboratively build solutions to meet everyone's needs.
Many residents identified concerns about driver behaviour and the lack of space to play for their children. The key issue was that the cul-de-sac didn't feel like their space. Drivers regularly used the street and the existing roundabout to do a u-turn before setting off in the opposite direction. During one session while we were at the street, a large lorry pulled into the street and completed a u-turn in one single manoeuvre.
Our conversations with residents highlighted three recurring issues:
- Lack of safe space for children to play.
- Too much space for parking.
- Vehicles travelling at high speed.
We asked residents to rate the priorities for their street and found that 75% of residents would like a more attractive street, whilst 75% of residents wanted improved safety.
Interactive and inclusive engagement
In October 2016, we held a Halloween Street Party with fun activities like pumpkin carving and spooky crafts. The event aimed to bring people together as a community and collectively generate and discuss ideas using their unique knowledge of their street.
The residents really engaged with the event and numerous suggestions on how to change the street's layout were put forward. These included:
- Removing the roundabout.
- Creating a more enclosed street.
- New pavement and crossing alongside the shops.
- Improved play provision for children.
- Speed calming measures.
- Improved lighting.
At this stage in the project, we are drawing up designs based on the residents’ ideas. Our volunteer Mike has been helping us to shape these designs. Mike is a retired architect and has attended events and generously shared his knowledge and experience as an architect to develop the residents’ ideas and shape them into design proposals.
Once this process is complete, we will share these designs and ask the residents to tell us what they think and suggest any changes. The final design will be trialed using Sustrans’ Street Kit, so that the community can experience the positive benefits before they commit to permanent change.