Roads to be shut in London "play-street" pilot project

So-called "play streets" are to be trialled in the London Borough of Hackney over the next year.

The initiative could see some residential streets closed to traffic during certain hours to enable children to play outside. A play street pilot is due to be officially launched in September.

The move followed meetings between residents and councillors following discussion about the Olympics’ sporting legacy, the sale of school playing fields and changing rules on provision of outdoor space.

"Given that schools are only open for 195 days a year, it is timely for Hackney to introduce play streets to make it easier for kids to engage in physical activity on the remaining 170 days, and after school too," said a council spokeswoman.

Melian Mansfield, chair of the charity London Play, said: "As one of the five Olympic host boroughs, Hackney is to be applauded. We hope others follow suit and help make London a city where children are truly able to play freely and safely outdoors."

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