Camden’s schoolchildren have their say on council’s Safe and Healthy Street Schemes
Camden council and its partner Sustrans have been engaging with schoolchildren as part of the council’s Safe and Healthy Streets programme.
“The pandemic has brought home the importance of protecting the environment to keep us all healthier and safer. As a result, we moved quickly to enable people to choose healthier forms of travel.
“Two-thirds of Camden households do not have access to a car, and many people tell us they would like to walk and cycle more. During the first lockdown, residents experienced a cleaner and quieter environment that suddenly become tangible and possible as traffic from elsewhere diminished.
“Over the last year and a half, we have been transforming the streets of Camden into places that are safer for all. Children’s and young people’s voices are crucial in this. We want to ensure that they are heard, especially by those in positions of powers and able to make decisions. Too often the loudest voices attempt to drown out the under-represented.”
Sustrans has been working with Holy Trinity and St Silas school, ensuring pupils are able to have their say about making their streets safer, and delivering a workshop to the school’s student Eco and Sport Ambassadors.
This work is being offered out to other schools across Camden as schools restart, and the team are also exploring chances to work with youth groups and children’s events.
James Cleeton, Sustrans London Director, said:
"Reaching out, listening to children and making sure their views are taken on board is vital if we are to create streets where people of all ages and ability feel they can safely walk, wheel and cycle. It’s great to be working with Camden as part of our wider work across London to create a fairer city where people can travel without the need for a car.”
A parent at the Holy Trinity pop-up said:
“The changes to the streets around the school means that I can now cycle with my child to school. The streets are quiet and we both feel safer on our bikes.”
Working at Holy Trinity Sustran’s found there was strong support and understanding of the ideals behind initiatives such as Healthy School Streets in the borough by the schoolchildren asked, the children also provided useful feedback on their perceptions of the use of cycle lanes and the Safe and Healthy Street schemes.
At the Holy Trinity and St Silas workshop all the children agreed that a Healthy School Street meant it would be easier to cross the road, and that people would want to walk, cycle or use a wheelchair more on the street.
- Healthy School Streets make the streets outside schools safer at the start and end of the school day by restricting cars so it’s easier and safer to walk to school. The drop in traffic also contributes to improvements in local air quality for the children at the schools. Since lockdown we have introduced 15 new Healthy School Streets across Camden.
- Have your say on Safe and Healthy Street Schemes across Camden https://safetravelcamden.commonplace.is/