Making your street a safe space for fun and games is child’s play

Hyde
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CHILDREN are being given the chance to get together and play on their street without the fear of vehicles impacting on their activities.

Play Streets is a new initiative being piloted by Tameside Council and Jigsaw Homes to help residents reclaim their street as a safe place for young people to get fresh air and exercise.

It enables residents to apply to have their street temporarily closed to traffic to allow for pursuits in a secure environment — bringing the community together.

An initial event took place at Moorcroft Square in Hyde with the ambition that residents in other streets will organise their own Play Streets events.

At Moorcroft Square, children of all ages gathered to take part in activities including swingball, hula hooping and blowing bubbles. Tameside Cycle Trax created a pop-up cycle track with ramps for children to tackle, Cycle-ops were on hand to help fix bicycles and the Public Health team handed out free fresh fruit.

June Tiffany was delighted to see her granddaughter Jessica enjoying the bike riding. She said: "I think it's gone brilliantly, the kids have loved it. They have enjoyed going up and down the ramps and playing together and everyone has mucked in. It's definitely a good idea."

Lauren Bottomley's son Harley also enjoyed the afternoon. She said: "It's really good and Harley has loved it. He gets to meet other children and it brings everyone together, like a community. I'd like to see it happen again."

Residents can run their own Play Streets events on residential roads in Tameside from this summer, when they will have access to guidance documents and can submit an event notification form to request a closure of the highway. It may not be possible to close some roads, such as A or B roads.

Cllr Allison Gwynne, Tameside Council Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services, said: "It's great to see the children at Moorcroft Square playing together outside their homes in the fresh air and getting plenty of exercise in a safe, traffic-free environment. I'm delighted that everyone enjoyed the event.

"Other streets can also take advantage of Play Streets this summer by applying to have their road closed so that their children can take part in fun activities and bring communities together."

To get more information on Play Streets visit www.tameside.gov.uk/Playstreets  

Tameside has two fantastic dedicated cycling facilities – Active Tameside's Cycle Circuit (www.activetameside.com/activity/cycle-circuit) and Tameside Cycle Trax (www.tameside.gov.uk/youthservices) - hosted at Bennett Street Youth Centre.  Both facilities are perfect for increasing your confidence on a bike and can provide free equipment.

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