We want to give them more chances to play outside their homes


Play is how children heal. They need to play now, more than ever. #playcatchup



We campaign to prevent the loss of playable space


Play is how children heal. They need to play now, more than ever. #playcatchup


We promote quality and choice in play provision


Play is how children heal. They need to play now, more than ever. #playcatchup


Play is a fun way to be active

We work to increase opportunities for children to play


Play is how children heal. They need to play now, more than ever. #playcatchup



The history of play streets

You couldn't really call us royalists here at London Play - but we have to acknowledge that royal events have played a part in the history of street play. We would even go as far to say that the recent double whammy of the Queen's Jubilee and the Royal Wedding have directly contributed to the current resurgence in their popularity. Here we chart the rise and fall - and rise again - of the play street in London.


1908 Model T Ford goes into production

1922-1933 Over 12,000 children in England and Wales killed in accidents involving motor vehicles

1926 Nancy Astor tells the House of Commons:

"There is no more pitiable sight in life than a child which has been arrested for playing in the street... Though these children may be fined, we stand convicted."

1937 King George IV coronation

Partying, eating and playing in the street was the order of the day

1938 First official play street legislation is enacted

1946 1.4m cars in Britain

1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth

Millions took to the streets to celebrate the coronation of the 25 year old queen

1950s The zenith of play streets - 700 across England and Wales

50s-60s boom in car ownership [mid 60s 1.5m cars in London]

1971 19m cars in the UK

1977 Silver jubilee

1980s Play streets have almost completely died out

1986 M25 completed

1994 25m cars

1999  2m cars in London

2008-11 London Play’s Street Play programme

More than 100 street party events held across London

2009 31m cars

2011 Royal Wedding

400 streets in London closed for celebrations

2012 34.5m cars

2012 Diamond Jubilee

2,000 streets in London closed for celebrations

Hackney becomes London’s first borough to reintroduce official play streets

2013 Government recognises the health benefits of play streets

London Play is part of a consortium funded by the Department of Health  to support the development of Play Streets across London and England.  DoH puts £1.1m behind the project in the hope that it will be a cost-effective way of helping tackle childhood obesity.


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    Play streets timeline 2016

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