Children playing together in the street. Credit: Unsplash.

‘Make 2023 the year of children’s play’

Resident-led activity could close your road so children can play safely

PARENTS are being urged to reclaim the streets for their children using a city council scheme.

Play Streets allows Cardiff residents to apply to close their road for two hours a month for activities and the council wants people to use the initiative to make 2023 “the year of children’s play”.

Dan De’Ath, councillor for Plasnewydd, is backing the community-led initiative.

Dan De’Ath, councillor for Plasnewydd. Credit: Cardiff Council.

He said: “Parents close a section of the road once a month and children play games, chalk on the pavement, ride bikes and generally have fun.

“They’re a great way of helping kids living in urban environments socialise safely outdoors, play with friends and exercise. They also help people get to know their neighbours and nurture a stronger sense of community.”

John French, coach for Cardiff Cosmopolitans under-6 football team, said the initiative was a great way to encourage children to play outside more often.

The Llandaff North resident said: “I think it is a great idea. Children need to be able to play outside in order to understand society, traffic and how to interact within the local community.

“In the 90s, you could play outside. But now children only interact at organised events. If the streets become safer, you would see all children playing together.”

But Mr French did reflect the hesitation of some residents to sign up for the initiative.

“The council need to make sure enough notice is given when streets are shut. It needs to be done at suitable times, not at rush hour as this would annoy drivers and may not encourage the scheme,” said Mr French.

The scheme does not stop residents of the road from arriving or leaving during the closure as stewards will be available. The council also offer Street Play Network Meetings for residents to discuss any issues and ask questions about becoming a Play Street.

“As a Council we’re encouraging people who are interested in setting up a Play Street to contact us via our website to make an application. Not all streets are suitable but those that are suitable can apply for a Temporary Street Play Order,” said Coun De’Ath.

If your street is not a main road or bus route, you can apply to close your street here: Play streets (