Car Free Day to take place in London

Posted: 19 September 2019 |

Boroughs across London are closing their streets to cars in a bid to reduce emissions and present the concept of a car-free London.

Car Free Day to take place in London

Twenty-seven London boroughs are preparing for Car Free Day on 22 September 2019, which marks the end of mobility week. 340 ‘Play Streets’ are planned across the capital and will provide free social activities which aim to allow London residents to experience what their streets would be like without cars. Fifteen more boroughs are also running their own celebrations.

Car Free Day is marked across the world and the Mayor of London is anticipating that over 150,000 people will join in London’s ‘Reimagine’ events, which will help encourage the change in behaviour needed to meet the target of 80 per cent of all journeys to be taken via sustainable modes of transport by 2041, compared to 63 per cent today.

“By enabling Londoners to explore our city without cars and traffic, we will inspire them to walk and cycle as part of their daily routine – something which is crucial to clean up our toxic air,” said Sadiq Khan.

Air pollution is considered as one of the biggest health emergencies, with more than 2 million London residents living in areas that exceed legal limits for NO2, including more than 400,000 children under the age of 18.

The main Reimagine event will also offer activities including a cycle ride across Tower Bridge to a car-free festival at Bank junction. The programme will run across 27km of traffic-free roads.

Alastair Moss, Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee, said: “London, but particularly the City, will continue to be a magnet for workers, residents, and tourists. That means we will have to be innovative and creative about the way we use space.

“This Car Free Day gives us an opportunity to reimagine our City streets and encourage more sustainable forms of transport. Our bold and radical Transport Strategy and City Plan are putting pedestrians and cyclists at the heart of our thinking.”

Santander Cycles is offering free hires across London on Car Free Day to encourage people to cycle to and from the event. People can access 24 hours of free cycle hire on the day of the event by downloading the free Santander Cycles app and using the code ‘CarFreeDay2019’. Extra cycles are also being made available around the central London event footprint to cater for increased demand. 

Lime, after recently reaching 100 million rides, is also offering free rides for the whole weekend of the event via the code ‘CARFREEDAY19L’. The initiative follows Lime’s collaboration with the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) to help promote the adoption of e-bikes across the capital.