Most families love a trip to the park and now there’s another reason to go.

That’s because venues with pretend roads and roundabouts are cropping up across the region – giving children a quiet place to practice road safety. The roads have their own signs and zebra crossings to get children used to how they work.

Whether cycling or walking, road safety is something all parents try to instill in their children from as early as possible.

And mums, dads and grandparents are loving the opportunity these parks and play spaces are giving to show kids how it’s done.

The George Thomas Playground, part of Princes Park in Irlam, was revamped last year and now features roads and a roundabout – complete with its own zebra crossing – for youngsters to enjoy.

Mum-of-two Stacey Antcliff, who raised funds for the play area with help from the Friends of Irlam and Cadishead Parks group and other locals, said it’s been a big hit.

She said: “The roadway was introduced as it spans a wide age range for imaginative play as well as being inclusive for many abilities and teaching basic road use.

“It’s been a fantastic addition with kids walking, running, scooting and riding bikes on it. We’ve also seen electric ride-ons and a wheelchairs on it so I would say it’s been a tremendous success.”

There’s a similar feature at the new Roe Green Play Park in Worsley, Salford, which was also refurbished last year, with lots of new equipment for children of different ages and some wooden animals.

The road and roundabout has attracted children on their bikes and scooters.

A bit further afield, and Queen’s Park in Burnley is a favourite of Radcliffe mum Susan Brown.

Her sons Thomas, seven, and three-year-old Michael enjoy the track there when they go to visit their grandparents in the area.

Susan said it has been a great help teaching them the rules of road safety.

She said: “My two like riding round it and they do have to look out for other bikes on the road when there are a number of children on it. And they use the crossing.

“They are learning what the road signs and markings mean too. It’s a good way for smaller children to become more confident in bike riding in a safe environment where parents can watch, or run round with them, depending on size.

“They can ride round and round the roads and decide which way they are going and be more independent than when you go for a walk and they ride.

“I was thinking of getting in touch with the local fundraisers for the park and asking if the next community event can raise money for one.

“The park has an old paved skate rink which I’ve never seen anyone use, so it would be a perfect site for this.”

Do you know of a park or play area with a similar feature? Do you think it’s a good way of teaching children about road safety?


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