Children are being encouraged to play safely in their neighbourhood as part of a new scheme.

Playing Out St Albans is part of a nationwide campaign to let young people take over streets free of traffic for a few hours.

They can then cycle, scoot, enjoy games and make friends while parents can chat get to know each other.

Councillor Anthony Rowlands, portfolio holder for community, leisure and sport, said: “This is an outstanding initiative that has a wide range of fantastic community benefits. It gets people out and about, meeting their neighbours and enjoying themselves

“We are delighted to support it and will be working with Sustainable St Albans to ensure Playing Out becomes an established feature in the District.

“I encourage parents who think their children will enjoy the experience to consider making an application for their street.”

The scheme was set up in the district by the environment charity Sustainable St Albans and is supported by St Albans City and District Council.

Lesley Flowers, a trustee of Sustainable St Albans, said: “Playing Out is a simple idea and a fabulous way of strengthening our communities. It encourages health, happiness and a sense of belonging.

“Children will be free to step out of their front door and play and make new friends. Parents can get to know each other and they can also reach out to more isolated residents and get them to take part.

“Playing Out is an inspiring grassroots movement that makes streets more child-friendly and it is great that St Albans is joining in.”

Applications for street closures in the District for 2020 have opened with residents able to team up and make requests for appropriate dates and times.