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Play Streets are back!

Date: 19 July 2022
Author: Cllr Katie Mansfield
Title: Vice-chair, Transport and Air Quality Service committee

In Richmond, we held more than 330 street parties to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.  We closed our streets, put out bunting, had fun and remembered how great it was to actually get together with our friends and neighbours. It was also wonderful to see children playing together outside their houses with new friends from down the street. Safe in the knowledge that the street was free of cars, they could explore, kick a ball, laugh and run round.  

We think we had more street parties than any other borough.  So many people loved them and saw the joy this gave the children and said 'Why wait for another jubilee?' We agree.   

Play Streets work by temporarily closing a road to traffic and creating a space for children to cycle, scoot, skip and play hopscotch (if they remember what that is!). They are run by groups of parents and neighbours and are a great opportunity to encourage children to get outside and be more active, as well as for the community to come together again. 

So, we would like to offer streets the opportunity of closing and having a playstreet as part of Car Free Day on 22 September 2022. Car Free Day is an international initiative to give communities the opportunity to use streets for local and community initiatives. And, as with the Jubilee, the council here in Richmond will waive the administrative costs to enable streets to be able to participate. You just need to apply online.  

Nelson Mandela said, 'There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way it treats its children'. So, let’s keep our borough’s leading stance on having fun on our roads in a safe environment and make sure that our children have a great experience, playing outside like we used to.

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Updated: 30 August 2022