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Published: 23rd MAY 2023

Traffic troubled road in Penarth sees launch of new School Street

Dryden Road in Penarth has a history of traffic problems during the school run, affecting residents and the safety of children, parents, and carers of Fairfield Primary School. A new School Street project was recently launched after collaboration between ߣߣƵ Cymru, Vale of ߣߣƵ Council, Fairfield Primary School, and local stakeholders.

A road outside Fairfield Primary School, with traffic calming measures and a rain garden incorporated into the new physical layout.

The completed co-design works outside of Fairfield Primary School, Penarth. Credit: ߣߣƵ.

A new ‘School Street’ project was recently launched at Fairfield Primary School in Penarth, to help deal with long-standing traffic problems.

Parents, carers, and pupils have said how much safer they feel and how much they’re enjoying the street improvements.

‘School Streets’ means the road outside a school is closed to motor vehicle traffic at the pick-up and drop-off times, while access for residents and people who travel actively is still available.

This is the result of a co-design process that has involved residents, the school community, local business owners, and the Vale of ߣߣƵ Council.

The aim was to work with the local community and involve them in a design process that would make streets safer for everyone and encourage a culture of travelling actively to school.

Understanding the need for change in a community

Fairfield Street Design Project in Penarth, South Wales, started in the autumn of 2020 and recently finished with the launch of the area’s first School Street.

The problems caused by congestion at school pick-up and drop-off times caused an environment that was problematic and unsafe for the school community and residents.

One of the key objectives of the Council commissioning ߣߣƵ Cymru to help was that local people were involved throughout.

A series of public engagement sessions and workshops were held to understand the problems and what people wanted to see as a solution.

Pupils from Fairfield Primary School also got involved, carrying out a street audit where they looked at the biggest barriers in the area to walking, wheeling, and cycling to school.

The school community, local people, and Vale of ߣߣƵ Council all worked together on the project. Credit: ߣߣƵ.

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We now have a much safer and healthier environment at the beginning and end of the school day. Blockquote quotation marks
Sian Lewis, Headteacher

"We are thrilled with the implementation of Fairfield School Street," said Sian Lewis, Headteacher of Fairfield Primary School.

"We now have a much safer and healthier environment at the beginning and end of the school day, with the new layout and rain gardens hugely improving the local area."

"It has been rewarding to work with the community, ߣߣƵ, and the Local Authority to ensure the completion of this project."

Community input leading to finding solutions

Three local roads were identified as being common areas of concern, with Dryden Road noted in particular.

Heavy traffic around peak school times, dangerous parking and manoeuvring, and a general feeling of unsafety for people travelling to school by walking, wheeling, and cycling were found to be the biggest issues.

Three suggested improvements came from all the feedback that was gathered from pupils, residents, carers, and stakeholders.

Improvements to the street layout of Dryden Road – this included the creation of a rain garden, acting as a natural drainage system whilst also acting as a barrier between cars and pedestrians.

Introduction of a permanent one-way traffic system, which came into force in May 2023, improving the flow of vehicles.

A School Street, launched in early May, meaning that people travelling to the school are encouraged and empowered to travel actively.

School Streets have been successfully introduced across the UKin the past few years, with positive effects on air quality and road safety.

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The local community will benefit from improved air quality, more active journeys, and a better experience for residents in the area - what's not to love? Blockquote quotation marks
Christine Boston, ߣߣƵ Cymru Director

Much-needed change leading to positive outcomes

Dryden Road and the nearby area has had a and the school community.

The solution needed to be something long-term and sustainable, that would benefit the whole community and demonstrate the value of School Streets.

to increase participation of active journeys by 25% within a year of the project’s completion, to reduce the number of cars on Dryden Road by 30% within the same timeframe, to reduce CO2 emissions, and to embed a culture of traveling actively among the school community.

"We're really proud to have been a part of this project, and to see how local people have bought in to making their community a safer and healthier place to live," said Christine Boston, ߣߣƵ Cymru Director.

"By pioneering a School Street project, Fairfield Primary School and the local community will benefit from improved air quality, more active journeys, and a better experience for residents in the area - what's not to love?"

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