Seven streets in St Albans and Harpenden closed for up to 3 hours on Sunday 22nd September for World Car Free Day. Neighbours took the opportunity to socialise as their children played on the road with bikes, scooters and skipping ropes. They were all taking part in the trial of a new Sustainable St Albans project called Playing Out. The project enables residents to apply to close their own road to through traffic for the purposes of children’s play and community building.
The Playing Out scheme is being launched throughout the district including St Albans, Harpenden and the villages. It is being run in conjunction with St Albans District Council and is now open for applications from the public for 2020.
Sustainable St Albans’ Playing Out co-ordinator, Nicola Wyeth, said:
“Playing Out sessions enable children to play out in the way that we all took for granted when we were young. It is a fabulous way to build communities, for parents to find a support network and for isolated residents to enjoy a cuppa and a chat all while the children get fresh air and exercise. It was wonderful to see multiple streets celebrating World Car Free Day in this way.”
A Playing Out scheme is always run in a way that minimises any inconvenience to residents who need access by vehicle to the closed area. Neighbours volunteer to steward the road closure points and if a driver needs access, they are escorted to their property at walking pace after children have been cleared from the road.
Sustainable St Albans will help you through the necessary steps of the application and lend you the necessary kit such as high viz jackets and road closed signs. Interested residents can find out more at by visiting our Playing Out page or get in touch by emailing us. There will be free information sessions in November – one at the Harpenden Arms in Harpenden on 11th November at 10.30am and one at The Beech House pub in St Albans on 15th November at 10.30am. Come along to find out more.