Kings Heath plans Winter Festival

Family on their bicycles and scooters on painted street in Kings Heath

The Sustrans DIY Streets team will be joining the fun at the Kings Heath Winter Festival and lights switch on this Saturday, 15th November, between 12 and 6pm at All Saints Village Square.

Sustrans staff and volunteers will be exhibiting the next stage of designs for the proposed improvements to Kings Heath High Street. The proposals have been developed gradually over the last 12 months following a community-led approach to street design.

Our local commuity street design project lead, Jenny Barlow, explained:

“The plans have incorporated the key themes from our consultation feedback, which include better crossing points, a more planters and trees, wider pavements and more places for people to sit, stop and relax. The main idea is to improve the function of the street as a thriving local centre and move away from the idea that it is just a corridor for traffic.”

DIY Streets, inspired by the simple but highly effective changes made on the mean streets of New York, help local communities to reclaim their streets and have a positive and community-led impact on local planning.

Last summer saw on the street testing of design ideas including a one day closure of on-street parking spaces, which were replaced with bistro seating and tables. Jenny said: “The feedback was very positive from this experiment and National Express even reported a better traffic flow on the street on the day, the ideas we got from people at the summer events have helped to shape the next stage of designs.”

The Winter Festival will kick start the next stage of community consultation on the High Street design as the scheme reaches the final stages of consultations on the proposals before work begins on the ground next year.

Kings Heath High Street has recently been identified as a Green Travel District. As such it is set to aim for less congestion, less pollution and fewer accidents to contribute towards Birmingham’s carbon and air quality targets. All of which adds more weight to the plans from Sustrans to work in partnership with the community to improve Kings Heath as a key local centre.

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