Sholing community come together to celebrate Child-Friendly Streets

  • Posted on: 31 October 2018
  • By: Carolyn Ireland
Street Kit with plants on Montague Green

The community of Sholing came together on Saturday 29 September to transform the green on Montague Avenue. The event was part of Sholing Child-Friendly Streets, a project run by My Journey (the council’s sustainable travel brand) in partnership with Sustrans and University of Southampton to change the face of Sholing’s streets. The initiative is part of the EU Metamorphosis Project which aims to transform car-oriented neighbourhoods into child-friendly spaces.

The first phase of the Sholing Child Friendly Streets Project commenced in June this year with the street closure of Valentine Avenue outside Valentine Primary School. The project has now moved on to Montague Green and has been engaging the local community in identifying areas for improvement and ways to make the space safer, more attractive and child friendly.

This has included two co-design workshops where members of the local community were invited to share their creative ideas. Residents, businesses, parents and children then had the opportunity to put these ideas into action on Saturday 29 September. They were able to decorate the pathways around the green with colourful patterns including flying fish, shells and more. Urban furniture and planting were installed and are set to remain in place for a month to encourage more local residents to enjoy the outdoor space. Families were also treated to a bike agility course, Bike Doctor sessions held by Monty’s Bike Hub and a table top sale.

The community were able to share their views on the proposed changes by voting on various design sketches.

Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Transport and Public Realm, says:

“It’s been lovely to see the enthusiastic reaction to this project from the Sholing community. By supporting residents to make these small, positive changes to their local area, we can encourage a greater number of people to use active travel in an inviting, safe and enjoyable environment.”

James Cleeton, Sustrans England South Director, says:

“The benefits of walking and cycling are well documented, but how can we expect people to do more if they won’t walk and cycle in their own neighbourhood? Involving people in the redesign of their neighbourhoods not only ensures good design that targets the issues people experience every day, but also improves community cohesion. Together this creates a more inviting environment to walk or cycle for people who may otherwise have driven.”