Reclaim your street and let children play on Car Free Day

Merton Council is actively encouraging residents to hold Play Street events and street parties to celebrate World Car Free Day by waiving the fees for temporary street closures.

Residents are urged to apply now to get their road closed to traffic on Sunday 22 September so children can enjoy playing safely in the street and everyone can benefit from the cleaner air.

Play Streets events can be organised by groups of neighbours who agree to close their streets temporarily, for through traffic, to create community play areas.

The temporary road closures also provide a wonderful opportunity for people to get together and help reduce the amount of pollution across the borough.

Merton Council is backing Car Free Day, which aims to liberate the streets from the dominance of vehicles, as part of its ongoing drive to make the borough a cleaner, greener place, and encourage more active lifestyles.

The day flags up the dangers of toxic air from vehicles and encourages everyone to ditch the car and enjoy walking, cycling or public transport to get around instead.

To support residents taking part the Council is waiving the fees for road closures for Play Street events and street parties and is providing support and advice for organisers.

Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Health and the Environment Councillor Tobin Byers, said:  “I am delighted that Merton is taking part in Car Free Day as it is a great chance to liberate the streets from the dominance of cars and other vehicles. We are keen to support residents hosting Play Street events as they provide a wonderful opportunity for children to have fun getting active in cleaner air and for neighbours to come together and enjoy themselves.”

“We want as many children as possible across Merton to take over the streets and play freely and safely. We hope people will enjoy seeing their street being transformed into community fun space so much they will go on to make these special moments regular events.”

The Council is highlighting that people should still be able to get to their homes by car, during the temporary road closures, as usually residents act as wardens to allow their neighbours to access the street.

Residents have until Friday 30 August to make applications. For advice and support on making applications and organising Play Street events  visit