Play Street Myth Buster
We think that Play Streets are great… but ok, we are also possibly a little biased. Not everyone agrees and that’s fair enough. But there are some common misconceptions about Play Streets which you might encounter among resistant neighbours. We bust the myths for you here.
Common misconceptions about play streets
MYTH 1 Cars are banned from play streets
Residents who want to drive in or out of the street during play sessions are able to do so, escorted at walking pace. They are also able to park outside their houses. Play streets are however closed to through traffic.
MYTH 2 Play streets are new
Legislation for play streets was first passed into English law in 1938. There were more than 700 play streets in England and Wales during the 1950s.
MYTH 3 You need to plan lots of activities for a successful play street
You’ve got to trust the kids on this one! They know how to play - give them the license and a bit of space and they will bring out their bikes, skipping ropes, chalks or water squirters and the fun will naturally unfold.
MYTH 4 If you’ve got a park at the end of your street you don’t need a play street
We are all for visits to the park – but they often require a parental escort and the kids you meet there may not live nearby. Play streets allow kids to regularly play outside their front doors – fostering independence and allowing them and their parents to build friendships with neighbours.
MYTH 5 Children will think it’s safe to play on the road at other times
Give children - and their parents - a bit of credit here. Play Streets actually provide an excellent opportunity to talk to kids about road safety. And it is very clear when Play Street sessions are actually in progress – parents will tell their children, and the street will transform with other children, wardens and road blocks.
MYTH 6 Play Streets will attract unwelcome outsiders
If anything, Play Streets make it more difficult for outsiders with unsavoury intentions to slip past unnoticed. Some parents are always out on the street during the sessions, neighbours get to know each other better and it actually becomes easier to spot strangers and monitor their behaviour.