School’s out for play street!


TOWER HAMLETS: Play time has extended onto the street for two schools in Tower Hamlets

Two roads were closed to traffic for three hours in Poplar so that children could play games, skip, cycle and watch street performances staged by their school.

The East End’s first ‘Play Street’ for 60 years was set up around Bygrove Street and part of Ricardo Street by the Sustrans transport charity and Tower Hamlets Council.

Pupils at Lansbury Lawrence Primary got the benefit from Friday afternoon’s traffic ban.

“We want to create a more ‘liveable’ street environment around our schools,” Sustrans’ Alison Litherland explained. “It encourages reduced car use to make the area around the schools safer and cleaner and improve our quality of life.”

The three hour traffic ban is a return to the ‘play streets’ in former Metropolitan boroughs in east London in post war Britain, before they vanished in the 1960s.

Tower Hamlets went back to the idea for the first time in December when a permanent ‘school street’ was set up with bollards and tree planting at Salmon Road, a cul-de-sac outside the gates of Sir William Burrough School off Salmon Lane in Limehouse.

Tower Hamlets’ cabinet member Rachel Blake said: “Play Streets show the difference reducing traffic can make and help raise awareness about what we can do to reduce pollution.”

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