Leeds streets to go traffic-free to allow safe play

PIC: James Hardisty
PIC: James Hardisty
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Leeds City Council is inviting communities to apply for a succesful scheme which encourages neighbourhoods to close off their streets so children can play safely.

The local authority is encouraging residents to take part in the Play Streets initiative, which is now in its fourth year, as part of its ambition to be the best city for children and young people to grow up in.

And this month, the first 20 people to apply for a play street order will be offered a free orange wheelie bin full of play equipment for their street.

Coun Lisa Mulherin, executive member for Children and Families, said: “When we launched our ambition to make Leeds a child friendly city in 2012, one of the things that young people told us was that they wanted safe places to play.

“The aim of Play Streets is to provide safe, fun environments for children to play in, and is a great example of Leeds putting children and young people’s wishes into action.

“I’m sure youngsters around the city will welcome the opportunity to play out with their friends in their streets. We hope that lots of people sign up so we can see plenty of Play Streets around Leeds this summer.”

The council said it is keen for more children to experience playing out safely close to their homes and experience the benefits this will bring to the entire neighbourhood.

The Play Streets scheme is a resident-led initiative to enable children to play freely and safely in their own street.

Leeds residents can make an application to the council for a temporary play street order.

The order will be valid for 12 months and allows neighbours to close their road to through traffic for the purpose of play for up to three hours at a time.

Play street sessions can be held either weekly, monthly or quarterly or as a one-off proposal. The street is only closed to through traffic and during the session still remains accessible to the people who live on the street.

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