Kids need to play more, says Leeds City Council

Dozens of streets in Leeds will have been closed during 2018 to make sure children can play safely, a report claims.

Do you think Leeds is a child-friendly city?
Do you think Leeds is a child-friendly city?

It states 83 streets in the city will be closed at certain times of the day as part of an initiative from the Leeds Play Network, which allows parents to apply to have their road closed to through traffic for up to three hours.

The sessions can be held weekly, monthly, quarterly or one-off, and the orders can last up to 12 months.

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A report, going before the Leeds City Council’s children and families scrutiny committee, said: “(We will) continue to find innovative ways for children and young people to have fun.

“Street Play is a resident-led initiative that enables children to play freely and safely in their own street. Temporary play street orders can be applied for to close the street to traffic. Eighty three streets will be temporarily closed this year as part of this initiative.”

The report looks into whether Leeds is a child-friendly city and notes the importance of play in a child’s development.

It added: “Research shows that playing promotes both physical and emotional flexibility through the rehearsal of new and unexpected behaviours and situations. It allows children to modify behaviour to meet the challenges of their environment and, over time, to change that environment itself.”