Children in Barry are able to play safely in the streets thanks to a new scheme.

The 'Play Streets, or Playing Out' sessions, are neighbour-led temporary road closures, creating a safe space for children to play freely together on their doorstep.

Under the pilot scheme, two streets are closed to through traffic for two hours for one Sunday a month, allowing children to cycle, scoot, socialise and play in a secure neighbourhood.

The scheme, widespread across the UK, is initiated in Barry by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Vale Play team in collaboration with Play Wales and local residents.

Barry And District News: Ellie Evans is one of the children taking advantage of the schemeEllie Evans is one of the children taking advantage of the scheme (Image: Matt Horwood)

It aims to boost children's participation in outdoor play and contribute to long-term preventative health and well-being benefits.

It is also hoped that these road closures will improve air quality by reducing carbon emissions during the closure period, aligning with the council’s Project Zero initiative to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Aoife Blight, a resident and session coordinator, expressed that the pilot scheme had been ‘transformative’ for her neighbourhood.

She said: "I'm so happy to say that everyone was behind the idea and have really got behind the fun of it all.

"The traffic-free space means the kids have the freedom to safely explore their street and have mini-adventures with their neighbours."

Barry And District News: Philippa Hardy playing hopscotch during the traffic-free daysPhilippa Hardy playing hopscotch during the traffic-free days (Image: Matt Horwood)

Prior to the scheme starting, Ms Blight had been organising her own similar schemes and she says that these schemes are also improving the community spirit in the streets.

She said: "Now, when we see neighbours on the street, people quite often stop for a chat, rather than just a hurried nod.

"We've been very lucky to get the opportunity to come out to play and we really hope this scheme can continue and spread to more streets across the Vale of Glamorgan."

Joanne Jones, senior healthy living officer at the Vale of Glamorgan Council, further added evidence of the scheme's impact.

Barry And District News: Joe Blake, Rohan Jha, Amelia Dawson and Cesca Kitchen playing in BarryJoe Blake, Rohan Jha, Amelia Dawson and Cesca Kitchen playing in Barry (Image: Matt Horwood)

She said: "The pilot Play Street projects have had a huge impact on their communities, not only increasing opportunities for children to play but also for neighbours of all ages to come together.

"The team is excited at the prospect of now supporting similar initiatives elsewhere in the Vale."

Residents partaking in the scheme receive signage, hi-vis wear, a small play-kit, and information cards to carry out the road closure.

If the pilot proves successful, it may prompt street closures for play across the Vale.