READING'S first ever Play Streets are up and running with parents, children and neighbours enjoying the opportunity to shut off their local street to traffic for a few hours and using it as a place to play and meet.
Reading Borough Council’s Play Streets scheme allows local communities to temporarily close residential streets so that children can play safely outdoors and close to home. It also offers adults the opportunity to get to know their neighbours and catch up with friends.
Lorne Street - located just off of the Oxford Road - will be hosting a Play Street, weather permitting, this Thursday (Oct 10th) between 4pm and 7pm. Young and older members of the community are looking forward to their big day.
Cathy Timmis, a local resident who organised her local Play Street, said:
“I have lived in Lorne Street for over nine years, and have got to know a large number of families on the street, through school, toddler groups, neighbourhood watch and more! With nearly 50 young children in our road, the opportunity to allow them all to play together is perfect for us as a community and has been welcomed by the residents. Even some neighbours without children have said they would like to be involved and supported our proposal to take part.
"Lorne Street is not a safe road for the children to play out in normally. However, whenever we have had snow we've all headed out into the street and the children (and adults) have had a fabulous time tobogganing down it!
“The feeling of wanting to ‘belong’ to the community is really apparent in Lorne Street, and the Play Streets scheme will hopefully make this even stronger. We are really excited about Play Streets.”
Reading Borough Council is allowing local communities to temporarily close their streets as part of a one-year trial. If it proves to be popular and a success, the initiative may become a permanent fixture in the town.
Play Street applications were open to people who live on residential streets only and applicants needed to aim for supporting signatures from around two-thirds of residents who live on the street for their bids to be considered. A Play Street can be created for up to three hours, on any day of the week, and up to once every fortnight.
The Council kept the application process free of charge, but residents are responsible for providing the appropriate signage and marshalling the closure.
Successful Play Street applications have been submitted by Lorne Street, South View Avenue, Blenheim Road, Larkswood Close, St Peter’s Road, School Terrance and Talfourd Avenue.