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Pilot project from Sustrans to make streets safer

An art wall created with the help of Bridgend school children and local residents will be unveiled as the first stage of a community-led scheme to clamp down on speeding traffic and parking problems to help make the road safe.

Neighbours in Heol Degwm will celebrate installing the 6ft high wall, by Welsh artist David Mackie, by decorating it in tea lights and dancing to music by Cornelly Generations Jazz Band.

Mayor of Bridgend, Councillor Jeff Tildsley, will officially unveil the entrance feature themed on the area’s old Tythe Barn tomorrow, which is intended to brighten up the street and warn motorists that they are entering a residential area. Further road changes will take place in Heol Degwm next year, including a new parking layout to prevent parked cars churning up the grass verges.

The plans are all part of the pilot DIY Streets project set up by sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

DIY Street project officer Mo McManus said: “Heol Degwm has plenty of green space but its speeding and parking problems have prompted children indoors and also adults to spend less time out on their street chatting to neighbours than they perhaps would have a generation ago.

“This new artwork is just the first stage in this community’s attempts to regain ownership of their street, and I’m sure their enthusiasm will make Heol Degwm a safer and more attractive place to live.”

There are 11 DIY Streets across England and Wales in a pilot project which could be rolled out nationwide if successful. Residents in Heol Degwm are making their street changes with support from Valleys 2 Coast Housing Association and Bridgend County Borough Council.

Steve Curry, Community Regeneration Manager at Valleys 2 Coast, said: “This has been a great project that proves that local people can play an important role in improving their quality of life by helping to re-design the spaces around them. We’re looking to extend this work into more of our communities.”

For further information about Sustrans visit www.sustrans.org.uk.