I have lived at Walsh’s Square on Moorfield Street for over 30 years and the closure has been an absolute godsend. First and most importantly, the safety aspects of the temporary closure have been beyond my initial expectations.Moorfield Street Resident
With the recent passing of another World Car-free Day, it seems the perfect time to reflect on some of the measures implemented across Calderdale to help reduce vehicle usage and promote active travel (walking, scooting, wheeling and biking). One such measure has been the introduction of Community Streets, which includes projects such as the School Streets initiative.
Community Streets - What are they?
Community Streets are areas within neighbourhoods in which vehicle movements and traffic are minimised. This aims to create environments more suited to active travel and overall, a better place to live, work and visit. Vehicle movements are reduced by implementing a range of measures such as School Streets and altering road priorities to prevent through traffic either permanently or during specified times. The main intention is not to ban vehicles but to reduce the volume of traffic on side streets and divert it back to main roads, preventing rat runs while still allowing residential access.
A number of initiatives have been successfully running in Calderdale over the last couple of years, such as the School Street on Moorfield Street near Savile Park. Moorfield Street, which runs adjacent to Savile Park Primary School, was closed via a temporary order in June 2022. So, what are the perceived benefits?
What are the benefits?
A well designed Community Street should look to address the following issues associated with vehicle traffic in local areas:
- Improving Road Safety
- Reducing speed of traffic
- Reducing pollution
- Increasing accessibility
- Enabling more people to actively travel, including increasing confidence amongst residents to do so.
On Moorfield Street, there was a degree of nervousness from residents over the closure, however, as the scheme now moves into its second year, the vast majority of feedback has been positive.
As a local resident (Savile Park Terrace), I think the street closure is a fantastic initiative and would be keen to see it continue. It is safer for children, and there feels to be lower pollution now that there aren't idling engines at pick-up and drop-off, and it's a much quieter road.Local Resident
The quieter streets are very welcome - I contrast this with the gridlock traffic jams I have seen in the past where I have had to personally start directing cars to get things moving at the junction of Mellor Terrace and Moorfield Street just behind our cottages in Walsh's square.Local Resident
I live opposite the school on Moorfield Street & since the closure, it's been fabulous, no chaotic scenes at school times with cars parking & blocking the road. No noise or air pollution due to this. Neither are cars using it as a "rat run" to get to Tesco or King Cross.Local Resident
My mum who is elderly also lives on Moorfield Street with her front door opening directly onto the pavement, she can now use it again as there is no fear of being run over by ‘pavement traffic‘ with no regard for safety. She has not been able to do this for many years.Local Resident
Proposals are now in place to further develop two existing Community Streets at Ash Green, Mixenden and Ling Bob, Pellon. These plans include altering junctions and road layouts to create a setting which encourages residents to actively travel. This will be complimented with the creation of more green space and the planting of trees which will create shade and shelter and an overall more attractive place to live.
You can keep up-to-date with the progress of these Community Streets by following the links below.