A new UK Government took
office on 11 May and is in the process of deciding its position on
a number of policies and government strategies . As a result the
content of this page may not reflect current Government
policy. All statutory guidance and legislation referred to
continues to reflect the current legal position unless indicated
Providing safe routes around local neighbourhoods
is a fundamental aspect of creating child-friendly communities.
Enabling safe, independent travel by children contributes to
their well-being and also brings environmental benefits.
The Play Strategy expects local authorities to develop safer
routes to the places where children play and socialise. In many
cases, this means providing walking or cycling routes for children,
linked to existing networks.
It is important to bear in mind that cycling and walking around
the local neighbourhood, or travelling to school or play areas
under their own steam, offer opportunities for children to play in
their own right.
However, road traffic is a major barrier to children’s
independent travel and play:
- it prevents access to playable space because of real and
perceived fears of road accidents
- prevents journeys on foot or by bicycle
- reduces the quality of playable space through noise and air
pollution from nearby roads
- busy roads mean fewer informal opportunities to meet
Both the Sustainable Community Plan published by the Department
of Communities and Local Government and the Statutory Local
Transport Plan guidance produced by the Department of Transport
both emphasise the importance of taking into account the needs of
children when master planning for large developments and in the
placement of access routes to play spaces.
The Sustainable Community Plan stresses that:
- new and refurbished play spaces should be accessible on foot or
- children should be able to travel freely and safely around
their local streets by foot or bicycle
- play spaces are located away from busy streets where
- consideration is given to developing playable routes within and
Statutory Local Transport Plan guidance published by the
Department for Transport, recommends that local authorities
strategically align Transport Plans with the Children and Young
People’s Plans created by the local Children’s Trust.
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