No cars go - should Norwich have a car-free day?

PUBLISHED: 15:25 19 March 2019

Calls have been made for Norwich to have a car free day. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Calls have been made for Norwich to have a car free day. Picture: Sonya Duncan


For many people, not a day goes by without some sort of car journey - a commute to work, a pop to the shops or a trip to visit family.

However, a city councillor is calling on the people of Norwich to have a day without getting behind the wheel.

Ben Price, Green councillor for Thorpe Hamlet, is hoping the city can accelerate with the idea of a car-free day, encouraging people to take advantage of other forms of transport.

Tonight, he will table a motion asking for the city council to back World Car-Free Day on Sunday, September 22, on which people are actively encouraged not to use their vehicles.

He said this would be a major statement for the city to make in moving towards a more eco-friendly city with better air quality.

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

He said: “It sometimes feels like, as a city, we are one step behind others, however, this would help to prove we are a city with a medieval heart, but forward-thinking brains.

“I really hope it is something that can be adopted. It is not about being anti-car, but I think we are moving towards a future where fewer people use them and more options are available.”

Mr Price is calling on the council to support a car-free day by actively promoting the occasion, closing residential streets to allow play events and promoting cycling and walking events across the city.

He added: “I think this is a real opportunity for Norwich to show we are serious about improving air quality and cutting our carbon dependence.”

It comes after calls for a car free day were made in November, by 36-year-old Matt White of Silver Road, who lives with a lung condition called Bronchiectasis.

Mr White, who is studying a masters’ degree in environmental management, said: “I think a car-free day would be a brilliant way to promote other modes of transport.

“I have asked the question myself in the past and have been told it’s a nice idea in theory, but would be difficult in practice, but it would be great to see.”

Norwich City Council sparked controversy earlier this year, when it announced diesel and petrol lorries would not be allowed to take part in the Lord Mayor’s Procession.

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