Streets ahead

By James Renoux-Wood - Thu 18 September 2014, 11:44 am

Living Streets, the national charity which works with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham on improving the safety of its streets and developing walking routes, organised a community street audit with pupils of the newly built Riverside school.

The school is situated in an area built for heavy goods vehicles. Pupils shared their work with local councilors, discussing the issues for pedestrians in the area immediately outside the school and coming up with ideas for improvements.

Project coordinator, Hannah Gibbs, said: “Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of the young people's comments about what makes a good street were to do with feeling safe. 

“Fortunately, the school has a zebra crossing directly outside it which allows staff and students to cross the road easily. However, some drivers don't appear to have adjusted to the fact that the school and crossing have arrived and continue to drive straight past, despite pedestrians waiting on it. 

“The students came up with some excellent practical recommendations. Ideas ranged from increasing the prominence of the zebra crossing and school through extra signage and the fixing of 'belisha' beacons on the crossing, to innovative ideas including planting blossom trees and decorating the street with art.” 

Living Streets is now looking at how routes could link up the planned and existing housing and schools to the potential new overground station.

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