Highlands and Islands Greens have today called for residential areas throughout the Highlands (1) to become Home Zones (2) — traffic-calmed areas heavily decorated with trees and shrubs, flower beds, benches, and children’s play areas.
Donnie Macleod, Highlands and Islands Greens’ Westminster election candidate for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey said: “Home Zones are at the heart of the green philosophy. We need a green revolution in how we use our streets. We spend much of our time in and around our homes, so it’s in all our interest that streets should be safe and pleasant places in which to live and play.
“In Home Zones, traffic travels at slow speeds enabling children to play out safely. Cycling becomes a joy rather than a fearsome venture. The provision of trees and shrubs not only ‘soften’ and enhance the character of a street but are also vital in attracting wildlife and providing green corridors between wooded areas.
“Sadly, we are light-years behind some other European countries where Home Zones and slow traffic speeds in towns and villages have long been standard. Our campaign to make Home Zones commonplace throughout the Highlands is exactly what’s needed to put green ideals into practice.
“We are heartened by the sustainable environmental proposals planned for the Highland Housing Fair in Inverness. This event will be a golden opportunity to demonstrate the value of a well-designed Home Zone.
“We have therefore urged Highland Council planners to require all new housing development planning applications to be based on Home Zones principles. As for existing residential areas, the Highland Council should now invite Community Councils and Residents’ Associations across the region to sign up for Home Zones.”
(2) See the Home Zones website.