A WALKING and cycling charity has been called in to deliver a street design project on one of Colchester’s roads.

Sustran has been commissioned by Essex County Council to head a community-led project in Winstree Road.

The project, known as the Winstree Road Community Travel Plan, will engage residents, pupils, teachers, councillors and other users of the area, and will eventually lead to temporary alterations to streets.

There are already three schools in Winstree Road - Stanway School, Stanway Fiveways Primary School and Stanway Primary School.

The new Lexden Springs School is being built on the site of the former Heath School and will open later this year.

These schools, which together have 2,086 pupils, are all within 700 yards of one another and calming traffic levels and speed during busy morning and afternoon school drop-off times is a priority.

The project will start in April and will report back with its findings in just under two years.

Residents can take part in engagement sessions, pop-up events and activities at schools. They will also be invited to trial changes to road infrastructure using a street kit.

The kit includes large plastic blocks which can be used to make short-term alterations to streets.

This allows engineers to analyse the impact any changes might have on traffic and pedestrian flow. It also gives residents the chance to experience changes before they are permanent and then give feedback.

Also included in the project is a small amount of funding to make temporary improvements such as flower planters and the ability to change highway markings.

Matt Barber, Sustrans Head of Partnerships, Midlands and East, said: “We’re delighted we have been selected to spearhead this innovative community-led street design project in Winstree Road.

“It’s a completely new way of working which puts the community at the heart of decision making so they are able to shape the future of their neighbourhood.

“It’ll enable them to design a plan to make the area safer, less congested and more attractive to live in and travel through.”

Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for infrastructure, said the project will allow residents to reclaim control over the streets.

He added: “It will give them a say in how those streets are shaped and it will make those streets safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.”

“It meets Essex County Council’s strategic aims to create great places to grow up, live and work and enable inclusive economic growth.”

Sustrans are keen to hear from anyone who has a view or wishes to get involved in the consultation.

Jeremy Hagon, parent and campaigner, said: “I’ve been pushing for improvements in this area of Stanway for many years, even before becoming involved politically.

“I’m incredibly grateful to Kevin Bentley to have supported and pushed for this scheme.

“Giving the chance for residents to have their say on any changes that may effect their street is of paramount importance and look forward to discussing proposals and ideas with residents, to help reduce traffic chaos in this area.”

Residents should email eastofengland@sustrans.org.uk or more information.