Set up a Street Play session

Find out how to set up a Street Play session in your neighbourhood, so that children can play safely and independently in the street.

What is Street Play?

Play Street - small children on bikes
Street Play is a new initiative in Guildford and part of a national scheme endorsed by Play England.

The Street Play project vision is for every child to have the freedom to regularly play actively and independently near their own front door, contributing to a healthy lifestyle.

Street Play sessions are temporary road closures organised by local residents to let children play safely and freely in their street.

Everyone is welcome to be part of local Street Play. It's a great way for neighbours to get to know each other.

How Street Play works

  • A typical Street Play session is an after-school or weekend event, for up to two hours. Led by neighbours, for neighbours, the session is only publicised within the immediate streets. 

  • A residential road is closed to through traffic, with volunteer stewards at each road closure point to redirect through traffic and escort residents' cars in and out safely.

  • Parents and carers are responsible for their own children.

  • The emphasis is on free, unstructured play, and children bringing out their own toys - skipping ropes, bikes, scooters, etc. Children are given the space and permission to play in the street, while adults have a chance to meet and get to know their neighbours better and experience their street as a 'shared space'.

  • There are limited costs involved, such as photocopying flyers. There is no fee for a Street Play road closure.

  • Street closure notices are put up in the road in the weeks before the event.

Organising a Street Play session

  1. Talk to your neighbours, explain what you'd like to do, discuss any concerns they may have and hopefully get their support and interest to join in. You could also make a leaflet to put through their doors and invite people to an informal meeting to discuss having Street Play in your road.

    Adults and road closed sign Play Street

  2. When you have enough support and people to be stewards on the day, you need to apply for a temporary road closure.

  3. Once you have permission to close the road, you need to let all those living in the road know the date and time and what will happen. It's a good idea to print some leaflets with the details and post them through each household's letterbox.

  4. When you receive the road closure notices you will need to photocopy these and put them up in the street to make sure everyone is informed.

  5. On the day, meet up with your stewards 15 minutes before the Street Play session is due to start so they know what they need to do. Close the road using your signs and traffic cones and then everyone can start playing!

Apply for a road closure 

We will not charge a fee for road closures for Street Play sessions. 

To apply, you need to:

  • complete our online Apply for a road closure form at least eight weeks in advance of your Street Play session. Main roads, or those on a bus route, cannot be closed. 

  • submit a map of where you wish the closures to be.

  • complete a risk assessment.

Further information

  • The Playing Out website is great for inspiration, information and useful downloads. It also has a Useful Stuff page to assist people setting up a Street Play session anywhere in the country, including example risk assessments, posters and a guidance manual. Playing Out is based in Bristol and was started in 2008 by a couple of mums who were frustrated that their children couldn't easily play outside in the street as they had when they were young. News has spread and there are now hundreds of streets across the UK with regular Street Play sessions.

  • You can borrow a free Street Play Pack from us that includes 'Road Closed' signs, traffic cones and high visibility vests for stewards by emailing playdevelopment@guildford.gov.uk.

  • To discuss Street Play sessions in our borough, please contact our Play and Youth Development Officer on 01483 444764; email: playdevelopment@guildford.gov.uk.