World Free Car Day, the annual awareness day on 22 September that started in 2000 to encourage people to go without their cars for the day, not only works to reduce emissions but also brings communities together to experience streets free of motor traffic.
To celebrate World Car Free Day, Wandsworth Council is helping residents across the borough to close their roads on 24 and 25 September, to allow children to play safely closer to home and encourage communal activities that bring neighbourhoods together.
Transport remains the largest emitting sector of greenhouse gases in the UK, contributing 27% of UK domestic emissions, based on government statistics in 2019, showing that reducing private transport would greatly improve our climate impact.
A petrol car journey from London to Glasgow emits approximately four times more carbon dioxide per passenger than the equivalent journey by coach, as shown in The Department of Transport 2021 statistics, proving that choosing public transport over a car would significantly reduce emissions.
She said: “It is a way of capturing people’s imaginations and showing them what’s possible. It is a really good opportunity to highlight how our cities could look and feel if they were designed around the needs of people rather than cars.
“Cars have dominated us for so long. We weren’t consulted about whether we wanted to give up all this space to store people’s private property on the highway.
“It’s just something that’s happened over the years and we’ve gotten used to it without really thinking about it.”
Living car free was found to be one of the main four actions that would make the most difference to our climate impact out of the 148 scenarios trailed by Environmental Research, and Possible has launched its Going Car Free campaign to encourage and support people in beginning the lifestyle change World Car Free Day celebrates.
Feature Image: credit to Paula Siqueira Photography