In September 2018, Playing Out went to Westminster to meet Jesse Norman MP, Minister of State for Transport, to ask if DfT could issue best-practice guidance to councils on resident-led play streets, including which legal route to follow. The Minister was very positive in his support for Playing Out and since then, we have been corresponding closely with his department about the legislation and guidance. We are delighted that as a result of all this, the new Minister, Michael Ellis MP, has just sent a letter to all English Highway Authorities, saying, “play streets offer wonderful opportunities not merely for children, but for families and communities”, clarifying the legal routes available and encouraging them to put a policy in place.
We very much hope that this will be the nudge some councils need to get behind the idea and enable residents to regulary open their streets for play. Playing Out, with support from British Cycling and Bristol City Council, will follow up with a letter to local authorities, signposting them to our ‘best practice’ guidelines and toolkit for councils on implementing a successful play street policy.
Playing Out is a free resource and source of peer-support for anyone wanting to start playing out on their own street and we strongly encourage councils to signpost parents and residents to us for advice, moral support and to join the grassroots Playing Out network.