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Pioneering play street scheme launches in Hackney

PUBLISHED: 16:57 10 September 2012

Oldfield Road was closed to traffic on Sunday as the new play street scheme launched in Hackney

Oldfield Road was closed to traffic on Sunday as the new play street scheme launched in Hackney

Geoff Crawford

Children in Hackney are set to reclaim the streets, thanks to a groundbreaking scheme that will close selected streets to through traffic.

Hackney has become the first borough in London to introduce Temporary Play Street Orders (TPSOs), which allow parents to apply to the council to close their street for a few hours per week or month.

Those who live in play streets can still drive to and from their homes, and will be guided at walking pace by volunteer stewards stationed at each end of the street.

Oldfield Road in Stoke Newington closed for the first time on Sunday afternoon (9 September), and around 70 youngsters played together outside, while older residents enjoyed meeting each other and chatting to neighbours.

Stoke Newington resident and mum of three Claudia Draper, who approached the council about launching the scheme, said: “It’s brilliant that councillors have listened to residents and had the foresight to do this.

“At our annual street parties the best thing is seeing the children running around, having fun without the fear of cars on the roads.

“Hopefully now playing out in the street won’t be a once a year treat, but a normal part of our kids’ lives, as well as being something that brings the community closer together.”

To find out more about the Play Streets scheme contact gavin.best@hackney.gov.uk or call 020 8356 3023.

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