Support active travel and improved air quality this Car Free Day

Release Date: 17 September 2020

Richmond Council is encouraging residents to leave their cars at home and walk or cycle when travelling around the borough on World Car Free Day (Tuesday 22 September).

In light of COVID-19, the Council has paused its usual successful World Car Free Day plans - including the roll-out of Play Streets and the temporary pedestrianisation of high-streets.

Instead, the Council will be celebrating measures introduced in recent months as part of its Post-COVID Transport Action Plan to support active travel and improve air quality in Richmond upon Thames.

To mark World Car Free Day, next week the work to install the borough’s first semi-permanent segregated cycle lane will finish on Kew Road and work on Hampton Court Road’s new interim cycling scheme will also be completed. Additional measures taken to support cycling in the borough include the installation of new bike hangars in eleven streets across the borough (with more to come), funding for eCargo bikes for local businesses, and a partnership with Peddle My Wheels – a try before you bike scheme, where you can use a bike for a monthly fee before deciding to purchase it.

Another measure recently introduced is School Streets, which promote active travel whilst improving road safety and air pollution around schools. Three of the borough’s schools have adopted School Streets with ten more schools joining the scheme in the next few weeks.

Cllr Alexander Ehmann, Chair of the Transport and Air Quality Committee, said:

"On Car Free Day it’s important we all think about whether we can make our journey in a way that will cause less pollution, reduce the risk to other road users and that will benefit our health and wellbeing.

"In normal times, public transport is a big part of that change, but with capacity reduced it is all the more reason to dust down that bicycle or to pop on your walking boots.

"Richmond Council have completed a number of significant schemes just in time for this important day. Whether the Borough’s first segregated cycle lane or a swathe of new school streets, we are doing all we can to offer real choice about how our residents travel. Richmond has never been more supportive of cycling and walking, so on Car Free Day, don’t be shy, give it a try."

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Fenna Maynard on 020 8487 5182.

Reference: P372/20

Updated: 30 September 2020