Chance for Aylesbury Vale residents to close their street so kids can play out

If you’d like to see your children and their friends playing out ‘like the old days’, a new scheme from Bucks Council might be just up your street.

By Hannah Richardson
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 11:10 am

Children across Bucks are being given the opportunity to play safely outside on their doorstep through a new initiative that’s been adopted by Bucks Council.

Neighbours can now apply for a Play Streets session to close their road for a few hours at a time, so that communities can come together and children can meet up and have fun outdoors.

Play Streets already take place in many other areas across the UK and have proved very popular, encouraging children to get active in the fresh air and helping to tackle social isolation by connecting neighbours.

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Children playing in the street in a pilot session in High Wycombe

The scheme first started in Bristol through the national organisation Playing Out.

Two trial events took place in Aylesbury and High Wycombe and children enjoyed being able to scoot and cycle on their street, while adults chatted and got to know each other.

Deputy leader of Bucks Council Gareth Williams said: “We’re delighted to bring Play Streets to Bucks.

"Many of us will remember playing out on the street when we were younger, but lots of children just don’t have that opportunity now.

Parents look on as children play in the street

"Play Streets gives them that freedom again, to grab their bike or skipping rope and make friends outside their front door.”

Emma Bornebroek, who organised the Play Streets trial event in High Wycombe, said it really helped bring her neighbours together.

She said: “Our road can be quite busy with traffic and so it’s not possible for children to play on the street.

"Being able to close it for a few hours made a huge difference and the kids had a fantastic time playing.

"It was also great for adults to meet up and connect with people they hadn’t met before, or seen for some time, due to the Covid pandemic.”

Residents can apply to see if their street is suitable for a Play Streets session on Buckinghamshire Council’s Play Streets webpage and there is more information about the scheme on the national Playing Out website.