Will your street in Southport pass the health test? Are there safe crossing areas? Is the pavement wide enough for people and buggies to pass with ease? Are there trees or benches?

Southport Liveable Neighbourhood project is looking for local volunteers to survey their streets to find out if they meet the needs of families, older people, people with disabilities, as well as anyone who wants to walk, cycle or use a wheelchair to get from A to B.

The project, which is run by Sefton Council and the charity Sustrans, works with the local community to make the area a safer, healthier place for everyone. The neighbourhood area stretches between Lord Street and Cemetery Road. It aims to reduce problems such as speeding traffic and rat running, improve social connections and the environment.

Anyone can volunteer to carry out the street survey, which takes around 30 minutes to complete. It can be done alone or with your family group, and there’s online training and support available.

The results will help reveal problem hotspots, such as rat-running or the lack of safe places to cross on the streets, as well as features which help the health and wellbeing of residents and local businesses. Street designers use the views and data gathered from the community to help re-imagine the local neighbourhood as a public space where people are the priority.

Ali Dore, Sustrans community engagement officer said: “We’re looking for volunteers who live or work in the project area and want to get involved in long term improvements to their street. It might not be obvious that streets impact our health but simple changes to a design can improve the safety and feeling of the street, as well as air quality and noise.

“The healthy street survey is a simple task you can do in your own time to provide valuable information that helps our designers understand the issues on your street. If you’re interested please do get in touch!”

Everyone in the neighbourhood has a chance to contribute through the Tell Us About Your Area survey, which runs online until 21 February. Over 650 people have already told us about their streets.

There have also been five online engagement events for local residents and businesses. Current national lockdown restrictions mean that further face to face meetings and workshops, which are part of the process to gather views from all sections of the community, have been postponed.

Workshops to feedback the results of the surveys and initial meetings and to start to develop designs for the area will take place at the beginning of March.

The community will have a chance to comment on each stage of the design process via online workshops and surveys through the post or on the phone. In addition school children from seven schools in the area will survey their own streets and contribute ideas through activities and workshops.

Find out more about becoming a healthy streets volunteer or contribute your views on Southport Liveable Neighbourhood HERE

Do you have any stories for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

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