Pupils enjoy sign of success in road safety competition

Promoting their work are, from left, Divine Erhunmwunse (Please do not break the speed limit); Amelia Parker (Stay slow keep us safe) and Ofe Isanbor (Slow down and be safe).
Promoting their work are, from left, Divine Erhunmwunse (Please do not break the speed limit); Amelia Parker (Stay slow keep us safe) and Ofe Isanbor (Slow down and be safe).
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Pupils from two County Durham primary schools got to see their artwork come to life when their winning road safety competition entries were turned into real signs.

Ofe Isanbor and Amelia Parker, from St Joseph’s RCVA Primary School in Gilesgate, Durham, and Divine Erhunmwunse, from St Hild’s College CE Primary School in Durham, were accompanied by their families and staff from the council’s road safety team to the William Smith factory in Barnard Castle where they saw their designs become actual 20mph zone safety signs.

The signs will be erected on Mill Lane and Renny’s Lane in Gilesgate to alert drivers that they are entering a 20mph zone.

Coun Brian Stephens, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods and local partnerships and John Reed, head of technical services, had the difficult tasks of judging all the entries and selected the three winning designs.

Coun Stephens said: “The competition was part of the council’s ‘Slow to 20 for Safer Street’ project and we wanted to get the children involved as they are the prime beneficiaries of increased safety around their schools through reduced speed.

“We hope Ofe, Amelia, Divine and their families enjoyed their visit and we’d also like to thank the staff of William Smith who surprised the children with unique commemorative signs of their own.”

Martin Vickers, who took the group on a tour of the factory said: “Both pupils and their families enjoyed learning about the manufacturing process and seeing how their original artworks were taken from design to print to a finished sign.

The Slow to 20 for Safer Streets project was launched in 2014.

Mr Vickers added: As a family run company, William Smith has always played a role in the local community, and we were delighted that Durham County Council asked us to be a part of this project.”

The project includes over 30 schools where part-time limits have been put in place based on various factors including traffic speeds, accident data and potential risk to pedestrians.

It is funded by a one-off Public Health Grant of £952,850 and is accompanied by an education programme which aims to make children more road aware, promote cycling and walking and increase speed awareness among motorists.

For more information on the Slow to 20 for safer street project go to www.durham.gov.uk/slowto20