The Play Streets scheme is a free resident and community led initiative to enable children to play freely and safely in the street close to their home.
Leeds City Council supports the scheme and administers the process which allows neighbours to formally close their street to traffic.
Play Street sessions can be held weekly, monthly, quarterly or as a one off proposal. Once you have organised your first Play Street, you can then use one application to apply for multiple closures throughout the year. The street is closed to traffic during play sessions but will still be open to the people that live there.
Please be aware that parents and adults are responsible for the safety and supervision of children playing out on the street during the session.
This guidance has been prepared to assist Leeds residents and communities who wish to organise regular or one off play street sessions.
Leeds residents and organisations can apply to the council for a ‘Temporary Play Street Order’ however some roads within Leeds might not be suitable to be used as play streets. To discuss the suitability of your street,
contact the play streets team.
It will not be possible to close main roads or roads which are on a bus route. However, do still get in touch to discuss alternative options. There may be neighbouring streets that are suitable to close instead.
There are a number of things to consider before making a formal application for a street closure:
Talk to your neighbours
It is important to discuss the idea with the other residents on your street to see what the level of interest is. All residents must be contacted by the organiser in writing. There are resources and letter templates that we can provide to help with this.
Applications will only be refused where there is a legitimate concern. We will not consider any objections based on disagreement with the general principle of play streets, as we believe that participation in this kind of community-led activity can be truly transformative, inclusive and positive.
Play Streets are resident-led initiatives. It will be helpful to have a proactive group of people who live on your street to support with communication with neighbours and stewarding during the street closure.
Insurance, liability and noise nuisance
Insurance and liability
We are not liable for any injury, loss or damage arising from the organisation of a play street event.
Any claims made against Leeds City Council with regard to damage or injuries caused by play street events will be passed on to the relevant organiser(s).
Play Streets are simple street closures that provide space for play. The sound of children, families and communities playing in the street is not noise nuisance. However, consideration should be given to those living or working nearby and excessive noise should be minimised.
Organising the event
You must provide and erect all appropriate signs and barriers necessary to affect the closure. This includes a ‘Road Closed’ sticker, cone stickers and Play Street stickers at each point of closure, and any appropriate diversion signs for the alternative route. Details of these will be supplied on the Legal Order.
Each closure point must be supervised and maintained at all times by a responsible and clearly identifiable adult.
We will provide appropriate signage in the form of stickers to apply to your wheelie bins. You then wheel your marked up bins to the end of your street for the closure.
Contact us for more information.
We strongly advise that you carry out a risk assessment to ensure that the session runs smoothly without any incidents. Conducting a risk assessment does not guarantee that an incident will not happen but can significantly help to reduce the probability.
A risk assessment requires you to identify hazards which are anything that you think may cause harm to any of the participants during the street play session. Then you need to assess the risk which is the chance, high or low, that somebody could be harmed. Though there is no set way of writing a risk assessment, it is a good idea to clearly document what the hazards and risks are, how serious they may be and what action will be taken to reduce or eliminate them.
Agree in advance with everyone involved that participants should take responsibility for themselves and watch out for each other, especially children.
More information about Play Street risk assessments can be found on the Playing Out 'useful stuff' External link web page.
What to do on the day
Supervising the session
Whilst parents and carers will remain responsible for the supervision of their children during the session, the aim of play streets is to give children the time and space to play out on their street. The organisation of adult-led games and the provision of toys and equipment is not necessary. Once the space and the time for play has been provided, it is important that children have the freedom to choose how they play.
There must be sufficient stewards to position themselves by the road closure signs to answer any questions from motorists.
Stewards must be an adult and clearly identifiable. We would advise wearing hi-visibility clothing.
Stewards have an important job and should be clear on what their respective roles are.
Closing the road
Once in place, the stewards must remain at their posts except to let vehicles of residents or visitors in and out.
After the road is closed vehicles (except emergency vehicles) are breaking the law if they go through.
If a driver lives on the road or is visiting a person living on the road and wants access in or out, they must be granted permission to do so.
At the end of the session
You will need to make sure that all portable signs and barriers are removed and all rubbish is cleared before the road is re-opened.
Apply for a road closure
To apply for a temporary Play Street road closure order and to find out whether your road is suitable for a play street,
contact the Play Streets team. We will provide further information, including an application form and a resident toolkit of resources.
- Email the Play Streets team to find out whether your road is suitable.
- If your road is suitable, we will send you an application form and toolkit of resources to help you to organise your play street. This toolkit will include a letter template that you can share with neighbours to make them aware of your plans.
- Fill in and return your application form to the Play Streets team.
- Use the Planning a Play Street resource in your toolkit to prepare for your play street.
Find useful information and free downloadable resources on the
Playing OutExternal link website. Playing Out is a not-for-profit organisation set up by parents to activate street play across the UK.
If you want to connect with other people who run Play Streets, you are welcome to join the Leeds Facebook private group
Play Streets Network Leeds external link.
For all Play Street queries, contact the Play Streets team: