World Car Free Day and Play Streets

World Car Free Day 2021 is celebrated across the world on Wednesday 22 September. It encourages motorists to choose alternative travel such as walking and cycling or public transport, instead of using their car for the day. It's a great chance to re-imagine our streets around people and to allow people to experience streets free of motor traffic.

We are actively promoting World Car Free Day in line with another excellent initiative, Play Streets. We are allowing residents to close their street for World Car Free Day and Play Streets on Sunday 19 September and Sunday 26 September 2021.

A Play Street is an event where a road is closed off to traffic for a few hours so that children can have a safe space to play freely. Play Streets are organised, managed and run by local communities themselves. We will provide all relevant orders to close the road. There is no charge for orders in relation to Play Streets.

Play Streets:

  • Give children more opportunities to play in a safe space close to their homes.
  • Provide a chance for residents to come together and for everyone to get to know their neighbours.
  • Help children to be physically active and healthier, learn about  their street and neighbourhood and have fun together
This year, Merton's Climate Action Group is looking to encourage and support Merton's residents to promote wider climate action as part of the Play Street events. This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of the climate projects already happening in the borough, and to encourage your friends and neighbours to take action to reduce their carbon footprint to address climate change. For example, this could include using your play streets to share skills within your neighbourhood like cycle training, gardening, upcycling or repair skills, sharing sustainable cooking tips and treats, or even showcasing renewable energy technologies or retrofit projects on your street. 
It's completely up to you what you include, but the Climate Action Group can connect you with some interesting local projects if needed. Please get in touch with the Climate Action Group community leads for transport, Mehmood and Luke, at, if you're interested in incorporating climate action in your play street plans or if you have any ideas for climate initiatives or projects that you would be interested in showcasing on a play street in Merton.

How to set up a Play Street

Please read the Play Streets Guide and Frequently Asked Questions.

If you would like to apply for a Play Street, please fill out the application below and return it to:

You will also need the following documents:

For more information and inspiration for your 'Play Street', please find links below to help you with your day!

(Please note: Dependant on government advice and restrictions at time of Play Street, any and all events may be subject to change or cancellation. As part of your application, please provide us with your 'COVID-19 Risk Assessment' as part of your application.)

Deadline for all applications was 31 August 2021.

Please remember to Tweet your day #mertonplaystreets

Contact us

Advice and support is available for your Play Streets application. You can email us at