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Help shape Southport’s designs for safer streets

Local people, schools and businesses will be actively involved in re-designing the neighbourhood around Southport’s Shakespeare Street, as part of efforts to make the area safer and healthier for people to walk, cycle or use a wheelchair for local shops and services.

The charity Sustrans launched a digital ‘Hub’ http://www.sustrans.org.uk/SouthportLN for Southport Liveable Neighbourhood this week with Sefton Council to gather views from the local community. This will shape the street designs from the start.

The project aims to create a ‘Liveable Neighbourhood’, where it is possible, and enjoyable, to make short trips without the use of a car. The area spans from Lord Street in the West to Cemetery Road in the East and links to the wider walking and cycling network.

School children from 8 schools in the area will survey their own streets and contribute ideas through activities and workshops. The community will also have a chance to comment via online workshops and surveys through the post or on the phone.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “The Liveable Neighbourhoods Project is a completely community led and inspired endeavour to help make our borough clean, green and beautiful in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents.

“We are working closely with Sustrans to ensure that we are consulting all of the community where the Liveable Neighbourhoods scheme would be, from schoolchildren to business owners.

“The idea behind the Liveable Neighbourhoods project to is to encourage our communities to make short trips without the use of a vehicle.

“I would encourage everyone to give their feedback on the project so that we can ensure it is shaped and designed in the most beneficial way to everyone.”

Sustrans’ urban designers will use these ideas to develop a new look street design. There will be further chance for people to comment before a trial of the new designs.

Rosslyn Colderley from Sustrans said: “If you live or work locally please do take the time to give your views on how you would like to improve your area.

“Our designers work with local schools, businesses and residents to find out what issues matter to them on their streets. We then create designs to reflect what people want. Liveable neighbourhoods are fast developing across the UK to help create healthier and happier places for people to live and work in. Southport already has a long history of creating a good environment for walking and cycling. This is a great opportunity to continue this work and create safer streets where more people feel confident to walk or cycle their regular journeys.”

The area has been selected as it includes residential streets within a six minute walk or less to shops and services such as those on Shakespeare Street, as well as schools and public transport links.

Analysis of road safety data shows that the area suffers from a disproportionately high number of road traffic incidents resulting in injury or death.