Play Streets

Play Streets or Street Play is a national initiative that provides a simple, effective and low-cost way for children to be able to play out in the streets where they live.

Local authorities can use their existing powers under road traffic legislation to allow temporary street closures for a one-off event or at regular weekly or monthly intervals, typically for three hours at a time. Local parents and other residents act as marshals, allowing their neighbours to drive to and from their homes at walking pace, while through traffic is re-directed. The result is usually a significant increase in children playing out and making friends on their street. In turn, adult neighbours get to know each other and community spirit grows.

This initiative supports our shared aims to reduce air pollution, congestion on our roads, promote sustainable transport and encourage communities to live active and healthy lives.

Local communities across Norfolk can apply for temporary road closures to support these aims and get an idea of what their street would feel like with less traffic. One idea for making the most of the closure is to use the time for 'Street Play'.

Street closure fees for all play streets events are currently being waived by the council but this policy will be kept under review.

Guidance to help you make your application is available below.

All applications for street closures must be received a minimum of 4 weeks’ prior to the event date.

Norfolk Car Free Day

This year, Norfolk Car Free Day took place on Sunday 24 September. An annual event which aims to encourage people to give up their cars for the day, with the hope it may lead to longer term behaviour change.

Car Free Day is a great opportunity to start conversations around car-use, and the health, social, and environmental problems with mass car ownership. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to highlight alternative modes of transport.

You can use Car Free Day to host a play streets event - or just close it for a street party. Whatever you decide, you can use the play streets application form to apply and there will be nothing to pay for street closures on this date. Please annotate on the application form that the application relates to Norfolk Car Free Day, ignoring questions 1, 2 and 3. 

All applications must be received a minimum of 4 weeks’ prior to the event date. Details for Norfolk Car Free Day in 2024 will be confirmed in due course.

How to apply for temporary road closure

Further support

Playing Out is a parent-led organisation in Bristol who offer free resources, advice and inspiration for residents around the UK who want to open their streets for play. As well as instructional videos and a step-by-step 'manual for organisers', you can download template posters and other materials and contact them directly for advice. Playing Out is a growing resident led movement with thousands of people taking action in their communities.

You can connect with this through the Playing Out Facebook page or by emailing