Car Free Day 2020
Compared to many other towns and cities, there were very few streets closed across Greater Manchester on Car Free Day (Sunday 23rd September). We sent the letter below to every councillor to try and encourage the 10 local councils in Greater Manchester to take a more pro-active approach in 2020.
If you are planning to arrange a Play Street or Open Street for Car Free Day or Clean Air Day in 2020 please let us know.
As you may know, today is Car Free Day. Car Free Day is a worldwide event, celebrated in more than 2000 cities across 46 countries, which aims to raise awareness and promote the use of sustainable transport options, such as walking, cycling and using public transport. The event not only alerts city residents to the dangers of air pollution and the benefits of a cleaner lifestyle, but also highlights how roads can be reclaimed as public space.
While it is too late to organise events for this year’s Car Free Day, we would encourage you to put the dates into your calendar for next year’s Car Free Day, and also for Clean Air Day which will take place on Thursday 18th June 2020.
Below is a list of events that have been taking place today in cities across the UK to mark Car Free Day, which demonstrates what can be organised to mark occasions such as these. We hope that Manchester can take some inspiration and participate fully next year.
London: Extensive road closures are taking place across London as part of their Reimagine event.
The charity London Play have helped to close approximately 200 streets across the city to traffic and open them to play. Free downloadable resources have been provided both for residents and for councils, such as communications plans, flyers, adaptable press releases and letters to ward councillors.
Norwich: People have been encouraged to give up driving for the day, where possible, and those who wished to get together with neighbours and organise a community or play event in their street could apply for a road closure and the normal fee was waived.
Liverpool: Better By Bus are offering half price bus tickets for the day.
Merseyrail are offering free travel for children up to 15 years old.
LoveWavertree and Liverpool City Council have turned Wavertree High Street into a car-free street for the day.
Leeds: Road closures are taking place in Otley, Headingley and Beeston Hill, where streets are bing transformed into safe community spaces with family-friendly activities, information stalls, food and crafts.
Nottingham: Heathcoat Street in Hockley has been turned into a pop-up park for the day with plants, seating and activities.
Oxford: is celebrating its first ever Car Free Day by closing Broad Street to motorists and opening it to pedestrians and cyclists, with a programme of family-friendly events taking place.
Ilkley: Climate Action Ilkley and Bradford Council are closing the Grove to traffic between noon and 5pm.
We look forward to being able to help publicise many Car Free Day events across Greater Manchester in 2020.
Ali Abbas and Catherine Thomson, Manchester Friends of the Earth co-ordinators
PS For Clean Air Day 2019 we produced a Clean Air issue newsletter
This issue is all about clean air. We all need it, yet it’s hard to find in our polluted cities. Greater Manchester is no exception. It has unhealthy, polluted air. In Greater Manchester over 70% of air pollution is produced by transport, in particular private cars. Diesel engines make the biggest contribution.