Portsmouth City Council has helped people run Play out Pompey events over the last couple of years to great success. People said it was great to see children playing safely and happily outside – something that lots of people were able to do in the past. It has now got even easier to apply for a Play out Pompey event via a simple online form.
Play out Pompey transforms streets into safe play areas where children can cycle, run, skate, chalk, skip, hopscotch, and create their own games. They are temporarily closed to through traffic for up to three hours, giving the whole community a chance to come together while children play freely on the doorstep.
The first part of the new form helps people take the simple step of checking whether a street can be used for a Play out Pompey event, since some roads are classed as ‘priority routes’. These are roads like Albert Road in Southsea or London Road in Cosham that need to be kept open for essential traffic, like emergency vehicles and buses. If it’s not suitable then people can find another street in their area, even if they don’t live on it. The rest of the form then guides people through sharing all the necessary information for the council to consider the Play out Pompey event.
People who apply to organise a play street can then choose to make it a one-off event or a regular one and will be supported by the council to organise it successfully. Everyone that leads a play street is provided with training, signs for the street, templates for letters to neighbours and posters to advertise the event, as well as help to evaluate the lessons learned and successes for next time.
Cllr Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader of Portsmouth City Council said:
“I have loved seeing how successful Pay out Pompey events have been in Portsmouth and this new form will help make it easier for residents wanting to start one in their neighbourhood.
Many of us fondly remember playing out on the street when we were younger, but lots of children don’t have that option now. Play Out Pompey is a chance to give them that freedom – to grab their bike, trike or use their imagination – and make friends and for everyone to help build a community right outside their front door. This will make a real difference to the lives of children across the city and I, for one, cannot wait to see more in action! “
Nicky Dodd, Portsmouth resident and organiser of a play street on Lindley Avenue said:
“Playstreets are a great way to get your kids away from screens and out in the fresh air, as well as a chance to get to know your neighbours better. We had children from surrounding roads join in too, and everyone enjoyed it. If anyone is considering hosting a play street, just give it a go!”
Play out Pompey events are run with residents living in the street in mind. People who live on the street are still able to access their homes and park while the play street is happening. Any through traffic is diverted, but volunteer stewards will help people including careers and emergency services who need access to drive in or out of the street at walking speed.
To find out more and apply for a play street, visit www.portsmouth.gov.uk/playoutpompey