Kids, skates, cakes and sunshine filled a Shepherds Bush road as it held the first of many ‘play streets’.
On Sunday 5 July, children in Roxwell Road were joined by those of neighbouring streets for the first closed-road event since H&F Council granted residents permission to host a play street on any Sundays of their choice.
A traffic order approved by the council allows residents to temporarily close the road for a few hours, so that children can play safely and many turned out at the weekend to frolic on bikes, scooters and skates while their parents chatted with one another in the summer sun.
“This is a great example of how we are working with residents to make life more pleasant in the borough. The play street initiative gives children the freedom to play safely in the street without their parents having to worry about the traffic, and it also allows parents and other residents a chance to socialise and get to know their neighbours,” said Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Residents’ Services.
“This success of this scheme will act as a blueprint for many more play streets in the borough which is part of our drive to make H&F the best possible place for residents to live and children to grow up.”
Attending along with Cllr Harcourt on Sunday was a ‘bike doctor’, who performed mechanical repairs on the children’s bikes, as well as offering the youngsters road safety advice.
Roxwell Road piloted a play street event in November last year and it was such a success that residents applied to have the council let them host the events on a regular basis. Residents will now be able to now organise and host their events independently.
Resident Daniel Goddard organised the event with the help of charity London Play, who guided him through the process of applying for the traffic order.
“Children were already playing on the pavement and we thought we could spread the idea out onto the road. We knew about London Play who’d already started organising events and we thought it would be great to do one in Roxwell Road,” he said.
“It can be a no through-road quite easily and we have had a couple of events now which have generally been busy and got busier, which is great.”
If you would like your street to be considered for a play street scheme, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 020 8753 2806.