Community groups in Belle Vale, Liverpool have hit on a novel way of marking the roll out of 20 mph speed limits in their area of the city with a series of ‘yarn bombing’ events which has culminated in dozens of knitted 20mph road signs being installed at Belle Vale Park.
The installation coincides with International Yarn Bombing Day on June 11th. Yarn bombing is the name given to brightly-coloured knitted additions to unusual urban spaces like street furniture, trees and statues.
Over the last two months, local ‘knit & natter’ groups as well as children from St Gregory’s Primary Catholic school and Gateacre Primary school have created sections of the signs under the guidance of Susan Ryder, a Liverpool based artist. The sections have then been assembled into the familiar circular road signs and temporarily installed in the park.
Susan said: “It has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience watching the kids learn finger-knitting and interacting with knit and natter group. It’s great that this important road safety campaign can bring people together in this way.
“It is fun and serious at the same time and helps take the road safety message out to different parts of the community and in a wholly unique way. We hope that when people see the finished items, they’ll smile and take the message away with them.”
Backed by Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire & Rescue and Merseytravel, the 20 effect will ultimately see a new 20 mph speed limit on 70 per cent of the city’s streets. Focussing on residential streets rather than main thoroughfares, the programme started in 2012 and is in the process of being rolled out city-wide. The programme enjoys overwhelming public support in Liverpool.
Liverpool’s 20 effect programme has won recognition from road safety campaigners for its ‘community first’ approach and the subsequent driver education and enforcement activity while other English cities have sought out advice from Liverpool in preparing their own 20mph programmes.