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Local community celebrate opening of new-look safer street

Residents in Coventry will celebrate the opening of their newly designed street this weekend to unveil a safer and more attractive neighbourhood for the whole community. Iden Road in Hillfields is one of 11 DIY Streets pilot schemes led by Sustrans taking place throughout England and Wales.

Earlier this month residents in Hackney celebrated the opening of their re-designed street and the scheme, organised to improve urban areas by making them safer, cleaner and more people-friendly, has been supported and funded by Coventry City Council, Midland Heart, and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to improve Iden Road by making it safer and more people-friendly.

The DIY Streets project has encouraged residents to discuss a range of 'do it yourself' designs to improve the appearance of their street and stop vehicles from speeding into the entrance of the road and using the wide-mouthed junction as a 'U' turn.

They decided to narrow the entrance to deter speeding traffic and put an end to vehicles turning in the junction, plant new trees and shrubbery to make the communal areas more attractive, and introduce a range of eye-catching features to further improve the appearance of the street. The children in the neighbourhood have also designed a mural to brighten up a wall in one of the car parking areas.

To mark the opening of their new-look street residents will join together to celebrate this Sunday with an afternoon of music, festive food and drink, circus skills workshop, and Christmas crafts.

Sylvia Wileman, Chair of the Residents' Association for Iden Road, said: " The new narrow junction at the entrance of Iden Road will really help to cut down on nuisance traffic and will make the area much safer for our youngsters to play around."

The construction follows 18 months of community meetings. The residents' success in slowing down traffic and making their street a safer place to live could see the DIY Streets project rolled out in cities throughout the UK.

Mo McManus, project officer for Sustrans DIY Streets, said: "The positive attitude amongst all residents has really helped to make this project possible."

For more info on Sustrans visit www.sustrans.org.uk.