Heavy snowfall across much of the UK has shown how our streets could be very different places to live, points out Sustrans.

Snowfall allows kids to reclaim the streets

Snow has brought Britain to a standstill. Motorised Britain, that is. Sledging, walking and cycling Britain are having a whale of a time!

With many motorised vehicles immobile or travelling much slower (and usually more carefully) than usual due to the snow, children have had the chance to claim back their streets for play and more people are walking to school and work rather than relying on their cars.

Those with studded bicycle tyres – or amazing balance – are also cycling to work and school.

With many cars entombed under snow, there are a lot less cars on the roads of Britain. Unploughed and ungritted side streets are becoming safe for children again.

While some children may be receiving sprains and knocks from sledging and from slips, this is nothing compared to the serious injuries and deaths that are allowed to happen in ‘normal’ conditions.

The snowscape reminds us there are different ways to get about. And this what Sustrans has been trying to do with its ‘Quality Streets’ campaign, launched last month.

Pre-snow, this called for 20mph speed limits in residential streets across the UK.

Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans’ CEO said:

"Snow is a very real demonstration of how, when cars are slowed right down or taken off the roads completely, children take the opportunity to play freely outdoors, neighbours socialise, and people connect with their surroundings more. This is precisely the vision we have for Quality Streets. 

"Too many residential streets are clogged by traffic when they could be safe public spaces where children can play safely outside their front doors and travel independently.

"The Government announced last week that it plans to measure UK quality of life and well-being in 2012, and having streets that are made for people to live in rather than traffic to drive through, could have a significantly positive impact on that."

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