A Croydon scheme that temporarily closes roads to through traffic so children can play safely attracted more than 50 people to the launch on Sunday.
Children and their parents took over part of Love Lane in Woodside for three hours to play in the road, riding bikes and scooters, playing hop-scotch and skipping and even creating their own art works in chalk.
The council-backed scheme, which is supported by charity London Play, involves residents asking for the local authority’s permission to temporarily close their road to through traffic once a month, after consulting neighbours, so that children can play and residents can get out and talk to each other.
After Sunday’s event more communities can still apply to Croydon Council for a street closure and a share of up to £1,200 in equipment from London Play.
A highlight of the afternoon in Love Lane was children and other residents planting bulbs in the shape of a heart on a nearby grassy area. Also attending the event were council leader Cllr Tony Newman and fellow Woodside ward councillor Hamida Ali, Norbury member Cllr Shafi Khan and the council’s cabinet member for transport Cllr Kathy Bee, who has led the introduction of Play Streets in Croydon.
Event organiser and Love Lane resident Emma Hope-Fitch said: “It’s amazing and the kids love it – I think a lot of local residents like seeing the children using the space like this. It doesn’t take much to get them out on the street and all our neighbours have been supportive; even the ones not here have moved their cars.”
“I’m thrilled that this Play Street is such a success, and I’m looking forward to lots more of them happening across Croydon; all you have to do is visit the council website, complete an online form and the council does the rest on road closures.”
Councillor Kathy Bee, cabinet member for transport and environment
More events are planned for Limes Road on 25 October and Love Lane on 8 November. Residents interested in organising their own Play Street are invited to a meeting at Gingerbread Corner in Grenaby Avenue, Croydon CR0 2EG at 6.45pm on Thursday 29 October, when you can find out what is involved and how to hold your own successful event. If you are interested, contact the council on email@example.com or call 020 8726 6400 ext. 63371.
For more information, visit: www.croydon.gov.uk/healthsocial/families/ccfpartnership/playstreets
Watch Love Lane event organiser Emma Hope-Fitch explaining Play Streets:
NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos from the event by Ian Stratton / Apex Photography – visit the Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/yourcroydon/albums/72157659681916196