CHILDREN at an Ellesmere Port school staged a street takeover, with colourful street art decorations and a tea party as part of a one-day road closure with the charity Sustrans.

St Bernard’s R.C. Primary School closed Sherbourne Road from 8am to 4pm on Friday while the children turned the street into a playground.

They enjoyed a variety of activities, including painting on the street, games, a smoothie bike, bike decorations and a cake sale.

Chester and District Standard:

The event at St Bernard’s aimed to highlight the benefits of restricting traffic outside the school and to encourage children to walk and cycle to school.

The children drew butterflies and insects with temporary eco-paint on the tarmac, played hopscotch, giant jenga and hula hooped in the sunshine.

At the usual school pick up time the school choir performed Together We Can Change the World to entertain parents, residents and children.

Tea and cake were on sale and all proceeds were to fund a new scooter pod for school.

Ali Dore, Sustrans community street designer, said: “Children are sending out a clear message that they want to have cleaner, safer streets where they can play and walk, cycle or scoot to school.”

“Sherbourne Road can be a busy and congested street at drop off and pick up times but the children have helped to reimagine it as a playful space for everyone to enjoy. We hope this event encourages more parents to choose to park away from the school gate or leave their cars at home and walk or cycle with the children. We know children want to travel actively to school and they need a safe environment to do this. The school street is a great place to start.”

Assistant head Emily Reid said: “The Share Our Space event will hopefully change parking habits along Sherbourne Road and encourage more families to think about how they travel to school. It was fantastic to see the children enjoying the space in a different way and they can now use the pedestrian crossings they have created to get to school safely. A huge thank you to Sustrans for making this event possible.”

During the Sustrans Big Pedal this year 40 schools closed their streets to motor traffic and held street parties and other activities, to encourage more active travel.

Sustrans has been working with the local community in Ellesmere Port for three years to help identify ways to improve public spaces and encourage more walking and cycling.