PUPILS at two York schools are getting creative to try and tackle traffic issues.

Youngsters at Clifton Green and Badger Hill schools are painting their streets with eye-catching designs during at drop off and pick up times this week, as part of a project with the charity Sustrans and City of York Council.

Yesterday (June 8) Clifton Green painted their street with leaves and trees, inspired by the park outside their school and tomorrow (June10) paw prints will appear on the road outside Badger Hill.

Sustrans street designers use the charity’s colourful street kit to widen the pavement and prevent pavement parking. As part of the events children are planting wildflowers along the street and use temporary chalk to draw on the street and write down their thoughts about the street trial. At Badger Hill children can take part in a scooter skills session.

If the trials are successful Sustrans will work with the school and City of York Council to implement the designs longer term.

The new layout and features aim to tackle problems on the street and make it a safer, more pleasant place for everyone.

Natalie Watson, Sustrans schools officer in York said: “Children surveyed the streets around their school and told us the problems they experienced. They came up with many innovative and fun ideas to make their streets feel safer and more pleasant for all ages. Our designers used the children’s comments and drawings to come up with creative solutions to the issues they face.

“This trial is a chance for the local community to find out how designs work in practice and experience what changes need to be made to help make the street feel better for everyone.”

Peter Murray, a teacher at Clifton Green, said: “The children have been thinking about how to create more user-friendly streets, particularly for the journey to and from school. They have a better understanding that small changes can lead to big differences, with regards to travel behaviour. As a result, the impact of their work will be to encourage more people to choose active travel for their journey to school. In the long term, this will help reduce congestion and improve air quality in and around Clifton and York, for all residents.”

Cllr Andy D’Agorne, deputy leader of the council and executive member for transport, said;

“The journey to school is one of the most frequent journeys most families will make. Introducing the habit of travelling sustainably and actively to younger child can benefit our local environment for generations to come.

“I am excited to see the impact of this next School Streets project and want to thank all the pupils that have contributed fun and innovative ideas to tackle local transport challenges.

“We know that to support residents to get around sustainably, feeling safe on the roads in key and I look forward to discussing the findings of these trials once they have taken place.”

Sustrans is the UK charity which helps more people walk and cycle. Their local team worked with pupils to survey the streets around their school and to find out what they would like to change to help more of them walk or cycle their school journeys. They highlighted problems such as the amount of traffic and difficulty crossing the road.

Sustrans’ street designers also held workshops for teachers, parents and the local community to gather their views and ideas, which helped contribute to the trial design. They found many people were concerned about pavement parking, volume of traffic and traffic speeds.