It's child's play for plans to ban traffic on streets
CHILDREN could soon be about to reclaim the streets.
Swansea Council is exploring the idea of residents being allowed to close their road to through traffic, to give children the space and freedom to play outside their front doors.
Full council will be briefed about plans to pilot the Play Streets programme, which would operate on evenings and at weekends.
Mitch Theaker, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Community Leadership, said the council was looking at initially introducing the scheme in a few areas.
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Funding totalling £5,000 has already been secured.
"We want to create areas where children and teenagers can play safely without the danger of traffic, giving parents peace of mind and potentially creating a greater sense of community," said Councillor Theaker.
"We are hoping to trial the Play Streets programme in areas where something similar has already taken place, such as Jubilee street parties or National Play Day events."
He said that if the pilot was a hit, people would be asked to recommend other Play Streets.
Mum-of-two Lisa Morgan, of Bryngwyn Village, Gorseinon,
said the idea was good in principle, especially in inner city residential areas.
"We are lucky that we now live opposite a village green so the girls can play and we can keep an eye on them from the house.
"But before moving here I was too afraid to let my eldest daughter play outside due to the volume of traffic.
"Children should be able to play independently and socialise with other children living on the same street. Parks and playgrounds can feel a bit removed from normal life. In the street they are more likely to interact with other children."
The intention is that, by making playing in the street easier, children will not only increase their physical activity, but also enhance their social skills and develop better connections with their community.
Mrs Morgan, who owns Crysalis in Gorseinon Market, added: "It is bringing back old-fashioned play which has been lost over the years.
"It has worked in cities like Bristol so I am sure it can work in Swansea."