Over the last two years Sustrans, a charity making it easier for people to walk and cycle, have delivered an innovative project called Marks Gate Community Streets.
The project worked closely with the Marks Gate community and combined community-led street design, behaviour change and improvements to paths and roads with the aim of increasing opportunities for walking and cycling.
Sustrans believes local people are the experts in their local area, and that they hold the key to their own behaviour change.
Marks Gate residents and local businesses were at the heart of this community project, and it was essential they were involved from the beginning.
They identified the need to increase the number of places to play, improve the underground and road safety, and reduce the speed of traffic.
In response, over the course of the two-year project Sustrans worked with:
- 710 children who attended cycling activities including 85 children who learnt to ride
- 50 women and 84 young people who participated in the bike clubs which involved training and skills development
- Approximately 400 people who attended pop-ups and co-design sessions for the community street design work
- Over 700 people who came to celebratory events and the public launch of Marks Gate’s new streets
Taiwo, a local resident and Bike Club member, said: ”I’ve gained lots of confidence at the club and met new people. I’ve bought my own bike now and I’m starting champion training.”
The project has achieved a huge amount, including:
- Safer walking routes with new crossing points, improved parking provision and pavement resurfacing to enable more people to walk and cycle
- Traffic calming measures including flat topped speed humps, narrowed junctions and ‘gateway’ features at key entrances to the neighbourhood to prioritise people over cars
- A new co-designed school waiting area and ‘Yellow Brick Road’ walking route linking infant and junior schools to the local play area, to create more space to socialise
The project legacy is being moved forward with the help of five champions, including our very Councillor Sade Bright who has said “this project’s been transformational for the people of Marks Gate and has brought the community together.”
We look forward to seeing how this project will benefit Marks Gate residents for years to come.