Play Street

We used to play in the street outside our home as kids growing up in the 70s. In rural Lincolnshire. Of course, it wasn’t a main road, it was the road on our council estate. Pretty much everyone had a car, and many of the houses had their own garage.

In London, or Greater London, it’s generally not safe for kids to play in the street, although we’re lucky where we are that our little cul-de-sac can double-up as a relatively safe enough play area most of the time.

The road next to us is an HGV Access Road, thanks to our local ward councillor and current council leader.

It’s definitely NOT safe for kids to play in at all.

Not until the Water Company came along. For the past two or three weeks, they have closed part of the road where my sons' friends live to clear the pipes of wet wipes, sanitary products, fat and oil.

They’ve dug a massive hole in the road, which I’ve told my nine year old is The Pit of Tartarus. It’s all barricaded off, with heavy machinery, waste skips and various bits of equipment.

So the road is now a no through road, with access only for residents and deliveries.

My kids and their friends have really enjoyed playing out in the street whenever they can, thanks also to our “Indian Summer”.

Of course, there are plenty of drivers who ignore (or don’t see?) the signs telling them the road is closed, and drive down it anyway. My job was mostly to tell them, “No, you can’t drive on the pavement. Can’t you see there are kids playing? Plus, it’s a pavement. This isn’t the Wild West!”

Fortunately, everyone was reasonable enough when challenged to back away, turnaround and drive around following the “diverted traffic” signs.

Thankfully, my job was made redundant by the older kids in the group, who took it upon themselves to relieve me of my onerous duties. They barricaded the pavements with spare cones, and now they marshall the traffic. Much more effective!