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People urged to give up cars and ask for streets to shut for Norfolk Car-Free Day

PUBLISHED: 10:43 11 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:27 11 August 2020

Flashback to a Street Play closure in Sandringham Road in Norwich in 2013. Picture: Denise Bradley

Flashback to a Street Play closure in Sandringham Road in Norwich in 2013. Picture: Denise Bradley

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People are being urged to give up their cars for the day next month - and to apply for temporary street closures to mark Norfolk Car-Free Day.

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways and transport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMartin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways and transport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The event will be held on Sunday, September 20, with people urged to apply to shut streets, so that socially-distanced celebrations can take place.

The worldwide event encourages motorists to give up their cars for the day in favour of more sustainable forms of transport.

And Norfolk County Council will waive the fees that day for people who request a temporary street closure where they live.

One idea is to use the closure for ‘Street Play’, a project started in Bristol to give children freedom to play outside their own front doors.

In 2012 and 2013, Sandringham Road in Norwich shut for such an event.

However, given the current situation with COVID-19 any planned street events will need to be held in strict adherence with the latest government advice and may need to be cancelled should further restrictions be implemented.

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Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “Lockdown has already given us a flavour of what our streets can feel like with less traffic and that is exactly what Car-Free Day is about.

“It aligns with our shared aims to reduce air pollution and congestion on our roads, promote sustainable transport and encourage our communities to live active and healthy lives.

“Our plans have been somewhat scaled down this year with regard to COVID-19, but we still hope people will get behind the event.”

He said the council would waive fees for all Street Play events in the future.

Matt White, founder of Car-Free Norwich, who lives with a lung condition called Bronchiectasis, welcomed the move.

He said: “It’s just one year since the first official Norwich Car-Free Day, and the scheme is already going countywide.

“We are incredibly pleased at this news, and we hope that lots of neighbourhoods across the county will take the opportunity to hold a street event or play session on the day, to rekindle some of the amazing community spirit seen during lockdown.”

Applications can be made at www.norfolk.gov.uk/carfreenorfolk and the deadline for applications is Friday, August 28.


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