Croydon Council has approved plans to introduce a series of play streets across the borough.
The council is giving residents the opportunity to take control of their roads by shutting them down and introducing play-time. Play streets will mean road closures for 2-3 hours allowing children to roam freely, under the supervision of their parents.
Play streets, although new to Croydon, have been in practice for a couple of years in other boroughs. Hackney has been running the concept since November 2012 and has seen the successful launch of 24.
Councillor Kathy Bee, cabinet member for transport and environment said: “I’m really thrilled it’s gone through.
“Many children on the street go to different schools, this gives them the opportunity to make friends with other kids in the street. It allows the parents to get to know each other.”
The borough intends to make the process of setting up play streets easy by acting as a guide, but the residents are expected to set up and manage them.
Those who are interested in establishing play streets in their area will have to first consult all their neighbours and then contact the council where they will be appointed a council support officer, who will guide them through the consultation process.
The process can take a few months to set up and an application would only likely be rejected there was strong opposition.
Councillor Kathy Bee is positive about its presence in the borough. “In addition to building stronger communities and promoting a real feeling of neighbourliness, the sort of regular, physical activity the scheme encourages would go a long way to improving children’s fitness and reducing childhood obesity,” she said.
For more information on play streets Contact Croydon Council on 020 8726 6000.