PUPILS at two York primaries are trying to help make the streets around their schools safer and healthier.

Year 5 pupils at Badger Hill and Clifton Green primary schools survey the streets and report on what features they like and dislike about the trip to the school gate. It's part of an initiative working with the charity Sustrans and City of York Council which means they contribute ideas about what they would like to see more of and ideas about the look and feel of the street.

The Sustrans team works with children to come up with designs that tackle problems such as safety at crossing points and entrances, parked cars, and creating a safe and attractive environment that encourages more people to walk or cycle to school.

Ideas could include pedestrian crossings, traffic restrictions around peak times and artwork or greenery on the street or at the school gate. All design ideas will be developed with the help and feedback of local residents and the community. There will also be a trial of the designs to see how they work in practice.

Sarah Harland, a teacher at Badger Hill Primary school said: “Our Year 5 children are thrilled to develop ideas for a new, child-friendly street design together with support from the rest of the school, parents, and the local community.

“Badger Hill experiences a mixture of people on bikes and scooters, on foot and in cars arriving into the same space at pick-up and drop-off times. This can be tricky for people - especially children and older family members to cross the road and some of our parents are reluctant to let their children walk or cycle.

“We are passionate about tackling this and wish to create a space outside our school gate that is safer, healthier, and more welcoming for our children, families, and to local residents.”

Sustrans Urban designer Nafsika Michail said: “At our workshop with Badger Hill Primary the children came up with lots of creative ideas for how they could make the street feel like a better place for all the community. They are keen to turn the school gate into a playful space and develop a trail with fun features to connect with nearby parks.

“We’re looking forward to working with Clifton Green Primary school next month. Once we have initial ideas our team will create concept designs and share then with all the local community. It’s important that everyone has a say in the new street designs so they work for local people.”

Cllr Andy D'Agorne, executive member for transport at City of York Council, said: "Making these choices as safe and convenient as possible is really important. I'm delighted to see this project returning to schools again this year and I hope the children had a great time developing their creative ideas and solutions for the schools and local community."

Cllr Keith Orrell, Executive Member or Children ,Young People and Education at City of York Council said: “Schools are the centre of many communities across York and this project will bring benefits to the safety and environment of the whole neighbourhood, not just pupils and parents.

“It’s inspiring to see these young people taking part in shaping the future of their local area and learning about how we can make these safer, cleaner and more attractive places to live and play for us all to enjoy.”

Last year Sustrans worked with City of York Council to develop a similar pilot project with Carr Junior School to create designs developed by the children and local residents. There was a one day trial of the scheme, which included a star-themed pedestrian crossing, an allotment outside the school gate and parking restrictions.

Sustrans has worked in schools across York since 2009 to help more children walk and cycle.