Posted by Keziah Underhill on 18th September 2020 in News
Car Free Day – Tuesday 22nd September 2020
Car Free Day – a day in which London closes its’ streets to traffic.
This year will have specific poignancy, because this year we saw what the world would be like with no cars.
In March 2020, the United Kingdom went into lockdown. No one was driving, the only journeys permitted were to the supermarket and hospital. For weeks we truly saw what the country, and the world, would be like car-free. Cities around the world had clean air for the first time in decades.
So how do we go from a token day once a year, to a sustainable future, without completely restricting movement? The answer is seemingly simple – move without cars. We have plenty of alternatives, public transport: buses, trains and trams, active travel: walking and cycling, electric micro mobility alternatives: e-bikes and e-scooters.
But, creating modal shift requires the desired option to be cheaper, quicker and more convenient in order for the public to change their routine.
For those who travel to cities for work, good public transport links are essential to being more convenient than finding and paying for parking.
For those who live and work in the same city or town, safe and direct walking and cycling paths are the route to success.
And, for those who live in villages, hamlets and further afield, where cars seem like the only option. A little boost to their active travel (via ebikes and escooters) is the way to go.
Councils need to be thoughtful with their proposals, a poorly conceived project leaves the public frustrated and less likely to accept future solutions.
Proposals should consider the project from all sides, including:
– Essential routes
– Safety of cyclists and pedestrians
Where is there room for cyclists? On the road? Or on the pavement?
Can the road be closed off completely to cars? Should it be only for buses? Or pedestrians?
With a million and 1 questions, there are even more answers, not all of them plausible, not all of them effective. Councils shouldn’t be wasting time and resources implementing temporary solutions that need to be reversed in a matter of weeks.
Let’s make informed decisions, that have been modelled and tested against multiple alternatives. Using accurate and detailed analysis. Then the temporary measures can be made permanent.
And, as a nation, we can be one step closer to being car free.
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About Keziah Underhill
Keziah is the Digital Marketing Executive at Basemap Ltd. She has almost 2 years experience in the digital realm after graduating from the University of Plymouth with a BA in Illustration and a MA in Publishing.