Lovely story from the Telegraph
In 2011, a group of parents in Bristol, concerned about their children’s health and their lack of outside play, decided to use legislation designed for street parties to apply to have their street closed to cars. Later that year, Bristol City Council introduced a policy whereby residents could apply to have their street closed to traffic for up to three hours a week for play.
The idea spread and, following a grant from the Department of Health, the parents who set up the first play street established Playing Out. It now offers support and advice to parents wanting to set up their own play streets in other parts of the country.
There are now 40 play streets in Bristol alone and the concept has spread to other council areas, including Brighton, Hertfordshire, Oxford, Reading, Sussex and Norwich. Usually streets are closed for a couple of hours a week or month, with residents acting as stewards at either end to divert traffic.