Eleanor Togut, project coordinator for Living Streets reports on the recent meeting in Hastings. 

The launch of the Hastings Living Streets Local Group on Saturday, 25th January 2020 brought together a wide range of people with the same goal in common – to make the streets in Hastings safer and more pleasant to walk around and spend time in.

Discussions were held about making neighbourhoods less car-dominated and giving people of all ages the chance to enjoy their streets. What emerged were not huge infrastructure projects, although these are vital too; what participants wanted was the opportunity to do something practical, to make a difference to local areas such as the car-dominated Queens Road shops, and to do it themselves.

There were many ideas included ‘adopting a verge’, planting bulbs or flowers in a small area around a lamppost or a tree, and Play Streets, closing a street to traffic for the day so that residents can spend time talking, playing and enjoying the area where they live. 

One important first step discussed was to run a Community Street Audit. This is a tool designed by Living Streets to monitor a regularly used route, for example, from home to school or to the local shop or park. 

It works like this: a small group meet up, walk together and stop to look where there might be potential barriers to accessing local facilities. These might include difficulties in crossing a busy road, particularly if walking with young children or for those with a disability. These are then written up in a report and sent to the local authority.

The group is set to make a difference to the streets of Hastings – one step at a time! 

Anyone interested in being involved should email [email protected] or for more information visit www.livingstreets.org.uk

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