Play Streets


Info here
Home > Play Streets > Info for Councils

Council support for street play

Covid-19 specific information about play streets can be found here.

“This year’s trial has been a complete success and I expect the play street scheme to go from strength to strength. I urge roads/communities who have not yet given it a go to try one. Their children will be thanking them for the rest of the year as will other less visible members of their community. This is a win, win scheme, give it a try.”  Cllr Tom Wye, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Adur and Worthing Councils.

Are you a local authority officer or elected member looking for a low-cost, resident-led way to get children physically active and strengthen communities? Join the growing number of councils  supporting street play across the UK. This page connects you to what you need to know:

Why Street Play?

The benefits of regular resident-led playing out sessions – both for children and whole street communities – align with the priorities of local authorities. This is a very simple, low-cost way to get children physically active, increase neighbourliness, and grow active citizenship. Most of the work is done by residents, with support from Playing Out and local organisations. The council simply needs to make it easy for people to get on with it. You can read more about impact and evidence here.

Six ways councils can support it

  • A simple application procedure with no charge (contact us for an editable template)
  • A clear point of contact for residents
  • Road closure signs and other kit provided
  • Promotion to parents and residents
  • Signposting to Playing Out and local support.
  • Strong, vocal political support

These are the essential elements for success. We have also produced simple best practice guidelines and a more in-depth toolkit for councils who want to support play streets.

Legal Basis for play streets

The Department for Transport last year wrote to all UK councils encouraging them to support play streets and advising them about which legal routes to use. They followed this up by publishing updated guidance on temporary traffic regulation orders for play streets (scroll down to point 4).

Hands-on support for streets

Some councils have also provided officer support or found pots of funding for local groups to give direct, peer-support to streets, which can make a huge difference to the number of street communities able to benefit, especially in areas of higher need.

Playing Out support for councils

Playing Out grew out of the actions of parents in Bristol and is now growing a grassroots movement across the UK. Since 2009, we have been developing and testing the model of resident-led street play that is now spreading across the country. Through our work in Bristol – leading to over 200 streets playing out in the city – as well as supporting residents and councils across the UK, we have a good understanding of what makes it work at a local level and want to support any interested local authorities to get it right.

We can offer:

Newsletters for Local Authorities and Community Organisations

Sign up here to receive a bi-monthly update.

Recent topics:

Enabling Street Play by Supporting a Resident-led Movement

Road Safety: What do Children Want?

Street Play: A great way to get children physically active

Playing Out as a Community Development Tool: An idea whose time has come.

Useful Local Authority case studies

find out more