Plans to Improve Lanes in Grangetown could also Reduce Fly Tipping

A new, first-of-its-kind scheme to improve the safety and look of some back lanes in Cardiff’s Grangetown area could offer a new solution to the area’s persistent fly tipping problem..

Littering and fly tipping has been a constant issue in Grangetown

The Safe Play Lanes project is being undertaken by the Child Friendly City initiative of Cardiff Council, alongside Cardiff University and Grange Pavilion

Tom Pughesly who works for the UNICEF-backed Child Friendly City initiative of Cardiff Council, says that the project is designed to redesign and redevelop these lanes based on how its residents and the children there want to see them. “As part of the Child Friendly City, we saw the need to improve some of the lanes in Grangetown, to embed each child’s right to play, which is enshrined in the UN Convention on the rights of the Child”. 

The number and location of lanes to be upgraded hasn’t been decided yet. The project is being funded by the All Wales Play Opportunity Grant, and has two strands to it. The first involves schools in the area conducting workshops with their students to help them visualise and design the lanes they live in, as they want to see them. A second strand involves consultation with other residents in these lanes to figure out how they envision their lanes as well. 

Grangetown has historically had to deal with illegal dumping of garbage, or fly tipping quite frequently. “In Grangetown we do suffer quite a bit from fly-tipping. A lot of the time I’d say that’s down to the broken window effect, whereby it’s already seen as broken so let’s just add to it, instead of fixing it”, says Grangetown Councillor Ashley Lister.

Fly tipping is a constant menace in Grangetown

“I think, part of the focus of this new program (Safe Play Lanes) is to ensure that residents who use or have homes that back onto these lanes feel more of a sense of ownership of these spaces, it’s a public open space that they now have control over and that they can influence” he adds.

Mr Pughesly says that the project consists of an oversight committee that is composed of residents, who meet regularly to take decisions, to reinforce this idea of the initiative being resident driven. “Those who live around these lanes should have a say in what they should look like” he says. 

It is hoped that the by improving the look on these lanes and fostering a sense of ownership over these spaces amongst its residents, the rates of illegal dumping will reduce. Councillor Lister says, “I feel the more people you can get on board with this idea, the more likely people show respect for the area, and the issue doesn’t happen.”  

The project also aims to reduce fly tipping by creating a more vibrant and colourful environment in these lanes. “If we were to improve the look on some of these spaces, add more greenery, make them more child friendly, the hope is that it will dissuade people from fly-tipping”, says Pughesly.

The Safe Play Lanes Project is currently in its pilot phase in Grangetown and the hope is that if successful, it can be undertaken in the rest of the city.