Residents encouraged to get active for Car Free Day 2020
Tuesday 22 September 2020 marks Car Free Day, a globally celebrated event that supports the use of sustainable travel to help improve the environment.
In Kingston we are committed to creating a cleaner, greener borough and we are working hard to support active travel by making it safer and easier for people to walk and cycle locally.
This Car Free Day we are encouraging residents to leave the car at home, get active and embrace the many benefits of walking and cycling. Walking briskly or cycling for a total of just 20 minutes a day has a positive impact on your mental wellbeing and reduces your risk of chronic illnesses.
This year we have introduced a number of streetspace measures to support pedestrians and cyclists, making active travel easier than ever before. Our new schemes include:
- Temporary cycle lanes and widened footways in a number of high footfall areas to maximise space and aid social distancing
- Three more School Streets
- Three temporary Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
During the introduction of the COVID-19 lockdown measures earlier this year, Kingston saw a dramatic improvement in air quality across the borough due to fewer vehicles being on our roads.
Between 23 March to 30 June 2020, Tolworth Broadway saw a 46% reduction in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels compared to the same time period over the last four years and Cromwell Road saw a reduction in traffic of 57%. You can view live air quality data on the London Air Quality Network website.
The less congested and polluted streets along with changes to working habits allowed many people to discover, or rediscover, the benefits of cycling and walking in the borough. However, as more of us began venturing out on the roads to head back to work, the traffic and air pollution levels began to rise again.
The majority of journeys undertaken in Kingston are three miles or less and this Car Free Day we want to remind residents and visitors to the borough that switching to sustainable methods of transport wherever possible will help improve personal wellbeing along with the overall health of the borough.
In addition to our streetspace measures we continue to invest in a range of programmes and initiatives across the borough designed to support sustainable transport. These include:
- Launching the ‘try before you bike’ scheme with Peddle My Wheels, to help make bikes more accessible and affordable to anyone who lives, works or studies in the borough
- Installing 20 community cycle hangars to ensure bikes can be stored safely
- Continuing to implement our award-winning Go Cycle route network
- Continuing to provide cycle skill training courses in the borough
- Continuing to provide children’s Bikeability course at schools in the borough.
For more information visit: www.kingston.gov.uk/sustainabletransport.