Shropshire Star

Call for ‘play street’ fund to be set up in Shropshire

A body which aims to improve green spaces and amenities in Shropshire has produced a blueprint for the next five years.


Shropshire Playing Fields Association (SPFA) has used Shrewsbury as the basis for its strategy but believes that it could be adapted for the whole of the county.

Compiled by Dave Kilby, the blueprint calls for improved cycle links and the creation of a central hub to support cyclists along with making better use of public open spaces.

The SPFA are now asking interested parties to contact the group with any feedback which can then be used within the strategy.

Mr Kilby said: "For too long our towns and villages have been designed around motorised vehicles, leaving them unsafe, unattractive and difficult to navigate on foot or bike. We need protected space; all the way from where you are now to where you want to be.


"Only with safe and attractive space will people that don’t walk or cycle now, venture in significant numbers, they need to be able to access fun activities that are exclusive to cycling and walking pathways. To deliver a cultural change that would bring meaningful benefits to our communities there needs to be massive investment to create new off-road networks of cycle routes that offer safe and fun places to be.

"The way we perceive these routes and use these routes needs to change, they should be routes that people need and want to use every day, routes that tap into our innate mechanisms that are as much an essential part of our daily life as breathing and eating, play is one such of these innate mechanism that should be central to our design of these essential routes. There needs to be major investment over a medium period, an active `play streets fund’ needs to be set up that links all levels of development each working in a collaborative manner to provide this joined up network of `active play streets’ exclusive for cycling and walking.

"In 2008 Shrewsbury was one of the second group of English towns to gain `cycling town’ status. The funding, which lasted until 2011, gave birth to Cycle Shrewsbury which aimed to promote cycling through a range of measures including improvements to the cycle network and more cycle training programmes to help more people to cycle to work and schools.

"We believe the town of Shrewsbury has the potential to further advance this positive start by implementing some of the new innovative ideas put forward in this report. We recommend a `four’ phase strategic approach to delivery, which we believe with minor adaptations could be applied to not only Shrewsbury, but all market towns and villages across our area."

Any responses should be sent to or call 01743 850943. The deadline is October 22.