Roads in Calderdale could become temporary play spaces for kids – under a new council scheme to get children playing outdoors.
The “play streets scheme” would give residents the power to close a street for a few hours at a time, letting children play in the road without the danger of traffic driving through.
The idea would be trialled in areas of Sowerby Bridge, North Halifax and Central Halifax, then reviewed before potentially being implemented across the borough.
“Many adults have fond memories of ‘playing out’ as a child, calling to meet friends cycling on our bikes or kicking a ball around the street,” said Calderdale Council’s Director of Public Health, Paul Butcher. “Unfortunately, many children today are unable to play outside their own door, mainly due to the increase in traffic on our roads.
“Play streets are a low cost, simple and effective way to allow children to play near or outside of their own front door. Allowing children to play actively is a vital part of our Active Calderdale mission, and is not only good for health and happiness, but also encourages social interaction and can help development.
“In turn, adults would also meet and get to know their neighbours, encouraging a sense of community in a place.”
In June, a temporary road closure was enjoyed outside Field Lane Primary School in Rastrick, and other local authorities already close streets for play.
The scheme would be community-led, with residents – supported by the council – responsible for organising the sessions.
Before a closure could be granted, the whole street must be consulted and any concerns carefully considered.
Play streets will be discussed at the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday, December 2, 2019, 6pm, at Halifax Town Hall.