FAMILIES have welcomed plans to open to transform a Southsea road into a new ‘play street’ for children.
Proposals could see Francis Avenue closed on the afternoon of Sunday, July 21, for three hours to allow children to take part in street games and activities.
It’s hoped the initiative will create a better sense of community and encourage more youngsters to have fun outside.
And since news of the idea broke, hundreds of people from across the city have had their say – with many giving its the thumbs-up.
Holly Gregory said she was thrilled by the scheme. Taking to The News's Facebook page, she recounted her ‘amazing memories’ of playing in the street as a child ‘till the street lights came on’ and running around until her ‘feet were black’.
‘The summer nights were amazing it’s lovely that these children can do this too,’ she wrote.
Gemma Martin-Blower also supported the plan. She wrote: ‘I think this is a great idea. When I was younger we used to play out in the street a lot, seems a shame a street has to close to allow it but more traffic these days.’
While Julie Dean hoped the trial run would become a permanent fixture and added: ‘What a great idea – hope it takes off across other streets.’
However, not everyone was convinced. Jemma Turner wrote: ‘Worst idea ever, they’re closing a very long and busy road, there was a bunch of kids outside my house last night causing trouble and no parents to be seen and they don’t even live around my area – there’s parks for kids not busy streets.’
Val Horwood had mixed opinion. She wrote: ‘I can see advantages and disadvantages. Advantages they get to play outside and all but the disadvantage is they’ll think they can play in every road and get knocked down if it’s not closed for them to play in.’
The road will be closed 1-4pm. Residents living between Delamere Road and Devonshire Square will still be able to drive in and out, and will be escorted through by one of the event’s voluntary wardens while another makes sure the road is cleared.