A scheme to encourage children in St Albans District to play safely outside in their neighbourhood has been launched.
Playing Out St Albans is part of a nationwide campaign to let young people take over streets free of traffic for a few hours. They can cycle, scoot, enjoy games, make friends and experience how life was for previous generations. Their parents and other residents can get to know each other and have a chat while the children exercise in the fresh air.
The scheme was set up in the District by the environment charity Sustainable St Albans and is supported by St Albans City and District Council. Applications for street closures in the District for 2020 have opened with residents able to team up and make requests for appropriate dates and times.
The launch of next year’s programme follows a highly-successful pilot project last summer when 11 streets in the District tested the concept. To take advantage of the scheme, residents need to organise a street meeting, enlist neighbours to volunteer as stewards and make an application.
Sustainable St Albans’ Playing Out Co-ordinator can loan a kit bag that contains road closure signs and Hi-Viz jackets.
There are deadlines for applications in January, March, May and July for closures starting from March, May, July and September, respectively. There is no cost to residents and a street can be closed for no more than eight times a year.
Schemes will make allowances for residents who need to access their vehicle in a closed area. A steward will accompany them to their car and ensure children are out harm’s way before they drive off.
Two information sessions are being held for anyone interested in making an application.
These are at the Harpenden Arms, The High Street, Harpenden, Monday 11 November, 10.30am, and the Beech House, St Peter’s Street, St Albans, on Friday 15 November, 10.30am.
Source: St Albans City and District Council. Picture: a scene from a Playing Out event in St Albans last summer.