St Albans to celebrate World Car Free Day

PUBLISHED: 14:14 20 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:32 20 September 2019

Seven roads in St Albans will be closed on Sunday in honour of World Car Free Day. Picture: Harry Rutter

Seven roads in St Albans will be closed on Sunday in honour of World Car Free Day. Picture: Harry Rutter

HARRY RUTTER

Seven streets in St Albans and Harpenden will be closed for up to three hours on Sunday (September 22) to mark World Car Free Day.

The organisers of the community based sports day, Playing Out, will celebrate the completion of a successful trial year with residential streets going car free for a day.

The Playing Out scheme is being run by St Albans district council and the charity Sustainable St Albans. The scheme, which is now open for 2020 applications, is designed to bring communities together and allow children to play outdoors.

Local Playing Out coordinator, Nicola Wyeth, said: "Playing Out sessions enable children to play out in the way that we all took for granted when we were young.

"It is a fabulous way to build communities, for parents to find a support network and for isolated residents to enjoy a cuppa and a chat all while the children get fresh air and exercise."

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Residents can apply to close their road to through traffic for up to three hours eight times a year. Playing Out days are run in a way that minimises inconvenience to residents who need access to the closed area. Neighbours volunteer to steward the road closure points if a driver needs access.

Joe Tavernier, head of community services at St Albans district council, said: "I am delighted that Playing Out is launching in St Albans District.

"The 2019 trial year has been a great success and we look forward to more streets applying for 2020."

The scheme aims to minimise inconvenience to residents who need access by vehicle to the closed area. Neighbours volunteer to steward the road closure points and escort drivers at walking pace once children are out of the way.

Playing Out street organiser, Louise Gordon, said: "During the summer we hosted a street party and quite a few people asked me if we could get together more regularly so I contacted Playing Out St Albans District and they have given us all the information we need, and they've even provided us with the equipment, such as the hi viz vests for the stewards and the road closed signs.

"They've made it super easy."

Interested residents can find out more at http://sustainablestalbans.org/playingout or get in touch by email to playingout@sustainablestalbans.org.

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