What would children like to see on the streets where they live? Roller coasters, dragons and chocolate waterfalls – and a lack of traffic, according to the results of a national competition run by Sustrans.
Children were asked to submit a drawing of what their dream street would look like as part of the Free Range Kids campaign.
Over 2,500 children entered the competition, judged by fashion designer and co-founder of Red or Dead Wayne Hemingway. Alan Pendlewood, MD of Pendlewood and Alex Allen, project director of Sustrans’ Liveable Neighbourhoods also judged the entries.
Entries included streets with shops and parks that are safe to cycle, walk and play in. Holly, aged nine from Cameley Primary School in Bristol, said on her street: “There would be no cars and everybody would ride their bikes and scooters safely around.” Georgia aged nine from St Fagans C in W Primary School in Cardiff said on her street: “It’s very safe for children to play because no cars can get up there. It’s also very peaceful and good for everyone.”
Summer, aged eight from Birmingham, said her Dream Street would be a ‘girls only’ street: “My street would have flowers, fountains and water instead of land, and no pollution and no boys.”
Judge Wayne Hemingway said: “The number of entries received was remarkable and the quality impressive. It seems that children all over the UK would like to live on streets where they can wander freely and play with their friends. Children want to be free range, but the traffic we create on our streets prevents them from being so.”
Fellow judge Alex Allen added: “Sustrans believes that every child should have the freedom from their front door to explore, play outdoors, and make their own way to school and beyond. The enormous rise in the speed and volume of traffic has driven children indoors or into cars to be ferried around.
"Fear of traffic danger is twice as much a concern to parents as ‘stranger danger’. We think it’s time for change. We believe every child deserves to be free range for the sake of their health, happiness and well-being.”