Share this article share on facebook icon share on twitter icon

London Play and Transport for London are using the opportunity provided by London Car Free Day on 22nd September to spread the good news about the Play Street movement.  As Enfield, and Palmers Green in particular, already has several established play streets, the probability is that we live in one of the "selected boroughs" referred to in this press release from

play street in devonshire road

A play street in Devonshire Road (photo: Phil Rogers

Residents in selected London boroughs are being offered support and freebies to transform their streets into temporary play zones on London Car Free Day on 22 September.

Supported by Transport for London, London Play is offering residents in selected boroughs the chance to run Play Street taster sessions and ‘reimagine’ their streets without cars for a few hours. The first 20 streets to apply will get a free volleyball net and giant beach balls - or a small fleet of spacehoppers(!) to get the action started.

Play streets, where roads are regularly shut to traffic for a few hours each week or month, are already popular across the capital.  But they do more than simply offer children a safe space to play outside with their friends, explains London Play’s Fiona Sutherland. “Children playing give adult neighbours the perfect excuse to step outside their front door and talk to each other; and people who live on play streets say that they feel friendlier and safer as a result. We can almost promise that people will love it – but Car Free Day is an ideal opportunity to trial the concept before deciding whether to make it a regular thing.”

TfL and London Play are hoping that up to 50 streets across the capital will apply between now and mid-August, in time for the September event. Unlike a street party, play streets require very little organisation – there is no need to plan activities, food or music. As long as there are adults to stand at the road closure points to deal with motorists, the newly liberated space in the middle of the road is all the enticement children need to get out their bikes and scooters and chalks and claim it as their own. “And where they lead, their parents, carers and adult neighbours will follow,” says Fiona.

The first 20 streets that apply to run a Play Street taster session on Car Free Day will receive free giant beach balls and a volleyball net to help transform their street into a play zone. They and all other streets will also get pavement chalks, bean bags and other items. Not only that, but they will also be entered into a prize draw to win a free day on-street Go Kart building workshop, worth £600 – to build the ultimate in low emissions vehicles. 

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan explained his support for the concept: “We will not successfully achieve my vision for London through action by TfL alone — we need to empower communities to shape their local streets. I am a great supporter of Play Streets and have asked TfL to explore with London Play the possibility of organising these as one big celebration of street play under the banner of Car Free Day 2018.”

Anyone  interested in going Car Free on their street in September should get in touch with London Play as soon as possible and ideally before August 6th via  or phone 020 3384 8513.

Log in to comment

PGC Webmaster's Avatar
PGC Webmaster posted a reply #3998 25 Jul 2018 20:26

London Play

Jul 20
Swap your car for a spacehopper this London #CarFreeDay! Run a #playstreet taster session and get free stuff to make it happen. But you need to act soon
Karl Brown's Avatar
Karl Brown posted a reply #4066 23 Sep 2018 11:41
A mere storm and dreadful weather forecast wasn’t going to stop Old Park Road enjoying International Car Free Day. First the novel umbrella approach to catch the rain was put in place,

then the verticals could be suitable dressed.

There was then time for food before moving on to boomwackers, shakers, djembes, soundshapes and dun duns.
Prepping to the Great OPR (car-free)Wacky Race was extensive and the day ended (with more rain) and a win for “Guinevere” as we pretty much saw Autumn take over from summer.

With the UK’s largest concentration of street parties and the location of London’s pilot site for Play Quarters, many in PG will clearly say that if you don’t yet have a street party, or Play Street, then get a few neighbours together, check the council web site, and make 2019 the year you commit.