‘We need to rely less on the car’ Car Free Day to shut roads today
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Today, September 22, marks World Car Free Day, with drivers being encouraged to find alternative ways of travelling without using their car, in a bid to slash emissions. A recent study found that 98 percent of Car Free July participants plan on permanently reducing their car use.
More than 1,000 people took part in the event, which challenged drivers to go completely car free for a week or the whole month of July.
This challenged drivers to replace their weekly grocery shop, commute or school with a low-carbon transport alternative.
Transport emissions making up 27 percent of all UK greenhouse gas emissions.
Cars account for over half of this total, with experts hoping World Car Free Day will make a difference.
One of Liverpool’s busiest roads, the Strand, is set to be transformed into a stage for a programme of free healthy activities.
The Strand, which runs along the city’s historic waterfront, usually handles more than 1,000 vehicles per hour on a normal working day.
Cllr Dan Barrington, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet member for Transport and Climate Change, said: “World Car Free Day is an opportunity for everyone to try a different way of getting from A to B that is better for them and the planet.
“As a society we need to rely less and less on the car and move towards a more balanced active travel approach – with a greater use of public transport too.
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“The benefits are there for all to see – healthier bodies, healthier minds and a healthier planet.”
Public bus services in Guernsey will be free to all passengers for the day, with the local Government hoping it will encourage islanders to “see its convenience”.
Residents in West Berkshire will also benefit from free bus travel to Reading, Basingstoke and Swindon.
A number of councils are also spreading the event over the weekend including Guildford Borough Councils who are celebrating Car Free Day on Sunday.
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It will prioritise pedestrians in the town centre and host stalls and community activities.
If car free days were utilised in large cities every Sunday, around 380,000 barrels of oil per day would be saved.
When using this method only on one Sunday per month, the use of around 95,000 barrels would be avoided.
It is a global event, with major cities around the world taking part.
Berlin will offer people the chance to use its buses, trams and trains for free on Thursday and will mark the third time that German’y capital has taken part.
The city will also see 37 side streets across the city closed to car and bicycle traffic between 3pm and 7pm to make space for neighbourhood activities.
Brussels has also taken part, marking World Car Free Day early, with cars being taken off the streets last Sunday.
According to data, the concentration of dangerous pollutants decreased by around 84 percent compared to an average Sunday.
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