Reclaiming the streets – Sat 20th July

One of the themes that has emerged from the Clean Air Cafés is that residents would love to reclaim local streets from commuter and commercial traffic, not only to reduce local air pollution, but also to have safer streets and a space to socialise. Some permanent measures have been proposed, such as one-way traffic, restricted access or turning parts of the neighbourhood into ‘Home Zones‘.

Those ideas would be major projects, so as an interim measure it’s great that people have also suggested smaller-scale, temporary actions such as: ‘Introduce Play Streets in St Denys’ and ‘A day of closed roads where you can only cycle/scooter/walk through St Denys’.

With this in mind, we would like to invite St Denys residents to take part in temporary street closures on Saturday 20th July. We chose this date as it’s just before the school summer holidays and the Big Bike Revival will be running some cycling activities in St Denys that day. The St Denys Repair Café will also be on – it’s somewhere you can get a new lease of life for your broken items.

The street closure could be an opportunity for a proper street party or community lunch; for children to safely play in the street; to have space to safely cycle, walk or scooter about; or just put deckchairs out and have a cup of tea with your neighbours.

We have put applications in for two separate road closures – one on Priory Road (North) and one on Priory Road (South). We need residents to decide how they want to use the space on that day and to help organise things. This could simply be stewarding the road closure or putting together plans for a street party. We will be sending out a letter to residents very soon, but in the meantime, if you have any comments or questions please drop us a line: breathe@socollective.org.uk or let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Eden Communities Big Lunch
Free Range Kids in the street playing hopscotch 2011, Sustrans. Credit: ‘J Bewley/Sustrans’
Parking Day 2014, Southampton

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