Wednesday 24 January 2018

'Traffic-free streets' on trial for children to play on

Have Your Say: Do you let your children play outside unsupervised?

Sarah Jane Murphy

Do you have fond memories of playing on the road as a youngster?

Children in the capital are piloting a scheme where they will have a traffic-free street to play on.

Dublin City Council are currently running the trial of their 'street play order' in Donnycarney, north Dublin.

Under the scheme, the residential street, or a portion of it, is closed to traffic for a few hours, creating a safe environment for children to play outside.

The proposal will allow residents to apply for three temporary orders over the course of nine months between 3.30pm and 5.30pm on the chosen day.

The scheme was suggested by Councillor Deirdre Heaney (FF) in February 2013, following the success of a similar initiative in Bristol, England.

Have Your Say: Do you let your children pay outside unsupervised?

No exact start date has been given as Dublin City Council is still in the process of drawing up the plans and assessing the feasibility of the scheme.

Cllr Heaney told that the scheme will not discommode motorists as the roads affected will be very minor residential roads and necessary diversions will be put in place.

"We have got to the stage where people don't know their neighbours anymore," she said.

"They are simply too busy to introduce themselves when as new family move into an area.

"We really need to improve community spirit in residential areas, develop better interaction between adults and encourage children to get to know their peers.

"I think this scheme will do just that," she said.

Cllr Heney believes the scheme would encourage children to play outdoors, as opposed to spending hours in front of television sets, playing video games or using other forms of technology.

"The idea of these play orders is to give city neighbourhoods a couple of hours every month or two to get out of their homes, meet their neighbours and allow their children play," Cllr Heney said.

Watch the video above to hear people share their fond memories of playing on the road as a youngster. We also asked if they would allow children outside to play in an unsupervised environment in the Ireland of today.

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