Play is an essential part of childhood. But in a busy, densely-populated city, there is not always the space or opportunity for children to get outside. That’s why we introduced ‘play streets’.
Play streets give children the chance to play freely and safely, within a short distance of their home, by letting residents temporarily close their road to motorists.
The traffic-free community events last for three hours and can be held on any day.
Benefits of having a play street
Play streets bring many benefits to a community, besides fun. We support them because they provide:
- More active, physical exercise for children
- Friendlier, safer communities (by getting to know your neighbours)
- Regular opportunities for everyone to have fun.
Apply for a Play Street
Organising the day is easy. Just follow these simple steps:
- Talk to your neighbours/ businesses that will be impacted and ask for their opinions. You can send a message via text, a letter, email, or flyers (download example letter (word doc))
- If most of your neighbours are keen, then organise a meeting and invite them along.
- At the meeting, agree on a date and time for the trial and give people a chance to ask questions.
- Fill in the application form linked below.
- Once we have given the go-ahead, meet with your neighbours and draft a plan of action.
- Plan what needs to be done, confirm who will be around on the day and what job they’ll be doing.
- Why not design and display posters on your street to promote your play street?
- Liaise regularly with the neighbours and encourage the children to be involved.
Please ensure any neighbours not taking part know about the road closure.
- Further guidance notes and terms and conditions
Normally there is a fee for road closures. But we think play streets are great for promoting outside play for children and stronger communities, so we are waiving the fees.
Date and times of your event
It is recommended you apply 28 days ahead of your planned play street.
If you are applying for a regular play street, for example once a month on a Sunday. We will need 3 months’ notice ahead of your planned play street.
Closures cannot last more than three hours.
No activity requiring any form of licence (under the Licensing Act 2003) may be undertaken when this order is in force .
As a lead organiser, it is your responsibility to consult with your neighbours. You can either send a message, a letter or a poster.
Each closure must be supervised at all times, by responsible and clearly identifiable adults wearing hi-visibility vests. Each point of closure must be marshalled throughout the event.
Vehicles entering or leaving the closed section of the road must be accompanied on foot by a marshal and must not exceed 5mph.
Traffic signs and barriers
Where resources allow, we would consider requests to provide barriers, and these will be delivered free of charge.
Residents, businesses, pedestrians and emergency vehicles must still be able to access the road during the closure. On-street parking cannot be refused or restricted during your event.
You must ensure there is a clear route along the road to allow emergency vehicles to pass.
Fire hydrants and hydrant marker posts should be kept clear of obstructions.
Guidance for drivers during a play street session
Motorists must drive with due care and attention at all times, with special consideration that there are children playing in the street.
Motorists trying to just pass through the street, rather than stop, will not be able to while a play street is taking place.
- Drivers must wait until children and adults have been cleared from the street by marshals.
- Marshals will inform a driver when they can move off.
- Marshals will escort vehicles in and out – by walking in front. Motorists must drive at a walking pace, maximum of 5mph.
Residents are obliged to ensure anyone in the street wishing to use their vehicle during the event, must first tell a marshal and then wait until children have been cleared.
Insurance and indemnity
Applicants are required to obtain public liability insurance (with a limit of indemnity of no less than £5million for each occurrence or series of occurrences) from a reputable insurer for the period of the road closures.
The applicant undertakes to compensate the council for any damage to the highway or street furniture or other loss or damage suffered by it arising out of the road closures. The closure area is to be left in a clean and tidy condition before the road is reopened.
The applicant shall have no claim whatsoever upon the council, who will not be liable for any occurrences arising during the period of the road closure.
Accordingly, the applicant agrees to indemnify the council against all claims, demands, proceedings, actions, damages, costs, expenses and any other liabilities in respect of, or arising out of the road closure and any other loss which is caused directly or indirectly by any act, omission or negligence of the applicant (or the applicant’s officers ).
This does not apply to the extent that such loss or damage arises out of the act, default, or negligence of the council, its employees, or agents not being the by the applicant or the organisation.
Terms and conditions
Any closure of the highway to authorise playing on the highway will be pursuant to an application under Section 16A or Section 29 of the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 and strictly in accordance with the following conditions:
Duration of closure - No closure for more than three hours’ duration.
Consultation - As a lead organiser, it is your responsibility to consult with your neighbours and local businesses. You can either send a message, a letter or a poster.
Structures - An order is made entirely for the purposes of children’s play and may not involve the placement of any structure, other than barriers, on the highway during its use.
Restricted activities - No activity requiring any form of license (under the Licensing Act 2003) may be undertaken when this order is in force.
Parking - On-street parking cannot be refused or restricted other than through an existing Traffic Management Order under the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984.
The road(s) - The roads may only be closed on the dates and times specified within the order.
Supervision - Events must be supervised by adults at all times
Barriers - Any barriers erected during the closures must be removed immediately if access is required by the emergency services, or other residents.
Indemnity - You must indemnify the council the full costs of any injury to person or damage to the highway or street furniture or other loss or damage suffered by it and of any claims made against it, resulting from the making of the order and which arise from your negligence, or if you represent an organisation, the negligence of your organisation’s members or officers.
Public liability cover – You must have public liability cover for up to £5 million in respect of any one claim, to indemnify the council against all claims resulting from the order and provide the council with the necessary evidence that such cover is in place during the closure
2. We understand that the council cannot guarantee that a Traffic Management Order will be made and any order made under the (s 16A or s29 Road Traffic Regulation Order 1984) Play Street application will be revoked if any of the above conditions are not met or the activities are not managed in a safe manner.
3. The council accepts no liability for any loss or damage to person or property resulting from the order or the activities taking place on the highway.
4. We undertake to indemnify the council the full costs of any injury to person or damage to the highway or street furniture or other loss or damage suffered by it or claims made against it, resulting from the making of the order and will provide to the council evidence that such public liability cover, as specified in the above conditions, is in place.
You also agree to comply with any additional terms set out in the guidance above.
Help and support
If you are interested in hosting a Play Street or have any questions, please email PlayStreets@lbhf.gov.uk for more information.
Find out more about play streets
See what's happened at previous play streets on our Flickr photo galleries: