Reclaiming the streets for kids
Two Bristol mothers have decided it’s time to banish traffic from their road and replace it with scooters, skateboards, hopscotch and bikes
Four year old Isobel is sitting on the kerb with her friend Amelie. The girls eat their ice lollies and chat, dollies and scooters lying in the street beside them. Isabel’s baby brother Hugo is napping nearby in his buggy. A gang of boys comes whizzing down the road in a mass of scooters, skateboards and bikes. They deftly dodge another cluster of children, ranging in age from toddlers to pre-teens, who are busy chalking up hopscotch on the road.
It may sound like a rose–tinted scene from a bygone era, but this is a weekday afternoon in a Bristol city centre street.
The article goes on to describe the brilliantly simple model they use, supported by the Deputy Leader of the council Cllr Jon Rogers, where streets are issued ‘Temporary Play Street Orders’.
On the BBC piece it was great to hear from the group of Hackney mums who want their street to close more often, having enjoyed the last two street parties. But normally, in London, streets can only close once a year – I look forward to hearing what happens next!
So would this work where you are? Or do you have other ideas about how to ensure children and young people have the freedom to play locally? Do let us know!