Car Free Day
Clean Air Day forecast: more play streets!
20 June 2019 I London Play
LONDON: As Clean Air Day prompts bold new announcements from Sadiq Khan on his plans for Car Free Day, two more London councils have signed the Car Free Day play street pledge.
London Play has confirmed that Islington and Hounslow have joined the 16 other boroughs that signed up to the Car Free Day Play Street Pledge last month outside City Hall. The pledge commits them to promoting, supporting and approving as many play streets as they can to mark the global event on Sunday 22 September.
Play streets are simple, resident-organised events where neighbours on a road agree together to close their street temporarily, but regularly, to through traffic. This allows children to play, while adults watch and get to know each other better over a cup of tea. They are already happening all over London and further afield – and offer an easy way for people to participate in World Car Free Day. It’s hoped at least 200 streets across the capital will be transformed into temporary play spaces on the day.
Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington's Executive Member for Environment and Transport said:
“Islington is proud to sign the Play Street pledge. We are working to make Islington a healthier and more enjoyable borough for everyone to walk and cycle and where streets and roads provide places for play and where communities can come together. That is why we are encouraging as many residents as possible to sign up for Play Street to celebrate World Car Free Day with us. Together we can reclaim the streets for people, not cars and provide safe, traffic and pollution free places for all our children to play.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “London is leading the way in innovative measures to improve air pollution and I want this year’s Car Free Day events to be the best of any world city. This will be a great opportunity for us all to leave our cars behind and explore our streets by foot, or by bike."
Fiona Sutherland of London Play said: "Car Free Day play streets will give people the opportunity to witness a transformation on their doorstep, when cars no longer dominate what we often forget is valuable public space. For a few hours, children, whose lives are most negatively affected by traffic, will take priority. We hope that it will be the beginning of long term change.”
Charity London Play has been leading the capital’s play street revival for the past decade and Transport for London is providing funding that will enable it to help more Londoners to trial play streets on Car Free Day. It is hoped that the experience of seeing their street in a new light, as valuable community space rather than parking space for cars, will inspire many to go on to apply for regular play street closures following the September event.
Anyone who wants to see their street become a play space on Car Free Day will need to consult their neighbours and apply to their local council well in advance of the day. Applying is free, but the process differs from borough to borough and London Play will help by advising on the various procedures; supporting with materials for promoting and consulting on play streets; and for early applicants, providing play equipment to kick start the fun. Additionally, all streets taking part will go into a prize draw to win an on street go kart building session.
Those interested in turning their street into a play space on Car Free Day should get in touch with London Play via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 384 8510. And it is not too late for councils to sign up to the pledge! Get in touch using the same details.