Community unites as they keep cars off their streets for a day
PUBLISHED: 05:24 22 September 2020
Families united by shutting off their roads to cars for an afternoon ahead of Car Free Day.
Socially distanced events took place in The Avenues and Buxton Road, in Norwich, with residents swapping a day out for a chat with neighbours on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Norfolk County Council waived fees so residents could apply for a temporary street closure as part of Car Free Day today - an initiative encouraging motorists to give up their cars for a day in favour of more sustainable forms of transport.
Residents in Buxton Road came up with the idea through their WhatsApp group during lockdown.
The road was closed for four hours, and saw up to 30 residents take part, with many children playing in the street.
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Bxton Road resident Joanna Smith said it allowed the next generation of children on the road to run around and get to know each other.
She said: “I have been here 20 years, people do not want to leave the street because people are so friendly. It was more about the children playing. One of them said they had made some new friends. It was nice to see the children in the street getting to know each other.”
Councillor Jacob Huntley attended the Buxton Road event and said such events promoting the reduction of traffic levels was positive.
He added: “It’s a great opportunity for residents to come together. It was a really nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.”
Councillor Ben Price attended The Avenues car free day and said residents looked relaxed as children played because no cars were zooming past. He hoped that the waiving of road closure fees could occur throughout the year.
He added: “Not only do we all benefit from the better air quality as a result of the reduction of pollution emitted by cars, we see people coming out of their front doors and getting to know one and other.
“Ultimately, we are in a climate crisis, with global warming and mass extinctions. This is one step towards the changes we need to make now, to provide a healthy world for children and grandchildren to flourish.”
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