With one month to go until the capital’s Car Free Day celebrations, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced details of hundreds of free activities to help Londoners ‘reclaim’ their streets on 22nd September.
A cycle ride and yoga and meditation sessions on Tower Bridge will be among the highlights at the Central London ‘Reimagine’ event. The programme will run between 10.30am and 5pm across 20 kilometres of traffic-free roads – the equivalent of nearly 200 football pitches in length – around Tower Bridge, London Bridge and the City of London.
Other events include:
– Bank Junction will be transformed into its first-ever car-free festival space, with a picnic area and musical entertainment provided from a solar-powered stage
– There will be a hedge maze in Cheapside, with car parking spaces becoming ‘parklets’ filled with a variety of activities including games, gardening and a place to sit and enjoy relaxing music
– Children will be able to build and race their own go-karts in nearby Poultry
Each activity is centred around five main themes – move, chill, taste, play and show – with events ranging from street food stalls and arts and crafts for children, to a Tower of London historical re-enactment of the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. Pop-up playgrounds, guided walks and bike rides on traffic-free roads, art installations and BMX rides will also be on offer.
Santander Cycles is offering free hires across London on Car Free Day to encourage people to cycle to and from the event. There are 11,500 bikes available at more than 750 docking stations across the capital, with extra cycles being made available around the event area to cater for increased demand.
Car Free Day is marked across the world and the Mayor hopes over 150,000 Londoners will join in London’s Reimagine events, which will help encourage the change in behaviour needed to meet the Mayor’s target of 80% of all journeys to be taken via sustainable modes of transport by 2041, compared to 63% today.
Khan said: “This year will be London’s biggest Car Free Day celebration, giving everyone a great opportunity to explore our capital’s streets on foot or by bike. The hundreds of free events on offer provide something for everyone, with different activities available around every corner.
“With just one month to go, I encourage as many Londoners as possible to join in the fun. Through seeing their city from a different perspective, I hope it will encourage more people to walk and cycle as part of their everyday routine.”
The Central London ‘Reimagine’ event has been designed to ensure it is inclusive for everyone. Taxi drop-off points and pedal-powered shuttles will help ensure it is accessible for all. British Sign Language interpreters will be signing at some activities and performances and there will also be an opportunity to try out a range of custom-designed bicycles, provided by Bikeworks. Its range includes wheelchair bikes that can accept most non-electric wheelchairs, handcycles, tricycles and a recumbent rickcycle that can carry up to three passengers, plus a selection of smaller kids’ bikes.
All Car Free Day events are free to attend and no tickets are required – people can just turn up on the day and take part.
The Mayor and TfL are working with the City of London Corporation, Tower Hamlets and Southwark Council, the Cheapside Business Alliance, plus a range of popular festivals including the Totally Thames Festival and Open House London, to ensure everyone will be able to enjoy a wide range of free activities.