Norwich is set to join 2,000 cities in 46 countries around the world in holding a Car Free Day on Sunday 22nd September. This follows a decision earlier this summer to exclude diesel and petrol vehicles from the well-loved Lord Mayor’s Procession to reduce the environmental impact of the event.
Green city councillor Ben Price proposed the motion, which was accepted by Norwich City Council. Whilst the council doesn’t have the authority to ban the use of cars on this day, Norwich residents will be discouraged from using personal vehicles.
This is part of a worldwide movement to reduce car usage for one day a year, and promote a more sustainable transport method. Norwich is already far ahead of the national average when it comes to using alternative transport within the city. 2018 records show that 23.8% of residents walk to work, and 9.5% cycle, beating national figures of 10.9% and 3.1% respectively.
The council are further supporting this movement by allowing residents to apply for free road closures in their area in order to arrange community street events. Norwich City Council have been particularly attentive towards the city’s cycling community, with an announced £14.1m of funding to be spent on improving the city’s Pedalways system.
Many UEA students will appreciate this eco-friendly move from local authorities, however, the choice of date does clash with the influx of students and their families who will be expected to arrive in the city the weekend of Sunday 22nd September.