Sheffield streets to close over bank holiday in campaign to make outdoor play safer for children
Organisers of the recent Beat the Street Sheffield game are continuing to support children’s activity with a “Play Streets” trial event taking place on the city’s streets this Bank Holiday weekend.
Holberry Gardens and Havelock Street in Broomhall will temporarily close between 12 pm and 4 pm on Sunday, August 29, Monday, August 30 and Tuesday, August 31 to give children the chance to play games outdoors safely.
The Beat the Street game shares the ethos of the Play Streets campaign and aims to encourage people to get outdoors together and to continue to incorporate the healthy lifestyle habits developed during the game.
Alasdair Menmuir, engagement coordinator for Beat the Street Sheffield, said: “Building on the recent success of the Beat the Street game, we are keen to encourage children to play out safely with other children. The recent Beat the Street Sheffield game saw 62,000 people across the city take part in a six-week game where they walked, cycled and rolled a total of 452,964 miles."
‘Play Streets’ is part of a national resident-led Playing Out initiative started in Bristol in 2009 to help neighbourhoods who are frustrated that their children have nowhere to play safely outside their houses.
The Play Street in Broomhall was the idea of local resident Polly Blacker who looks after the green community spaces on Holberry Gardens and Havelock Street through organisation HERB.
Polly, whose long-term aim is to either make her road a permanent Play Street or a 5MPH zone, said: “I had the idea for a Play Street last summer. Children sometimes use this space to play cricket, to run around, scoot and have barbecues there too. I noticed how children wanted to play out, but cars were driving too quickly on Holberry Gardens and using it as a parking spot. Most cars on Holberry Gardens are from outside the area as most residents don’t have a car. Allotment users mostly walk or cycle. Residents I have spoken to are overwhelmingly in favour of hosting a Play Street.”
Local residents will be able to drive to and from their houses during the road closures as long as they drive at 5MPH.
Parents will be responsible for their own children’s safety and behaviour during the Play Street.