Car free day for Norwich is agreed by city council

PUBLISHED: 11:43 20 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:13 20 March 2019

The Greens called for Norwich to have a car-free day in September. Photo Steve Adams

The Greens called for Norwich to have a car-free day in September. Photo Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2014

People in Norwich are to be urged to leave their cars at home, after the city declared it will hold a car free day in the autumn.

Ben Price, city councillor for Thorpe Hamlet. Picture: Norwich GreensBen Price, city councillor for Thorpe Hamlet. Picture: Norwich Greens

World Car Free Day takes place on Sunday, September 22 and Norwich City Council voted on Tuesday night that the Sunday nearest that date will be Norwich’s car free day each year.

While the council does not have the power to stop people from using their cars, the authority will actively promote the event and discourage people from using their cars.

The council will also support groups which want to close residential roads for community and play events on that day.

And City Hall will support cycling and walking events across the city.

READ MORE: ‘Stupid with the city shops struggling’ - Readers react to car free day in Norwich

Ben Price, Green city councillor for Thorpe Hamlet, proposed the motion, which was amended slightly by Labour.

He said: “Norwich people are forward-thinking, positive and pro-active in reducing their impact on the world around them.

“Today’s motion celebrates that and, I hope, will help people who still feel there is no option other than driving, to cross that psychological barrier.

“Car Free Day is a first step toward changing the way we live and interact within our cities.”

Norwich City Council sparked controversy when it announced that diesel and petrol vehicles will not be allowed to take part in this summer’s Lord Mayor’s Procession.

However, a separate request for the council to introduce workplace charging was rejected.

Matt White, of Silver Road in Norwich, had tabled a question to ask if the council would consider

adopting such a scheme.

While Mr White was unwell and not at the meeting his question was still asked.

The levy, which taxes any business providing 11 or more parking spaces to employees, would specifically fund transport schemes and Mr White said it would reduce carbon emissions and pollution.

But Mike Stonard, Labour’s cabinet member for sustainable and inclusive growth, echoed the words of one of his predecessors when the idea was raised some years ago that it would be “suicide for the city”, if it were to introduce such a levy and Broadland and South Norfolk did not follow suit.

He said businesses world move out of the city and set up in those areas instead.

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