On Sunday September 22nd it was World Car-Free Day. See #CarFreeDay
This event takes place on September 22 every year after becoming a global programme promoted by the World Carfree Network (WCN) https://www.worldcarfree.net/wcfd/ in 2000. In a bid to reduce pollution and congestion, the aim of this initiative is to try and move cities away from being Car-dominated societies. Many streets will be closed to traffic on September 22 in cities around the world. The World Carfree Network says the day should be a “showcase for just how our cities might look like, feel like, and sound like without cars.” It is intended that the day puts pressure on governments to prioritise cycling, walking and public transport.
Car-Free day was promoted by the ECRF Sustainability Committee which is keen to promote health and wellbeing as well as greener alternatives. Linda and William confirmed they were already car-free so a big prize for them – well done.
Several staff members also pledged to be car-free on Sunday. Miriam was cosied up at home with her family who were recuperating from tummy bugs or from walking up Ben Nevis for charity, well done Mr B. A relaxing Sunday in was also had by Joanne.
Marie was a bit more active on car free day. Here’s what she got up to:
‘I cycled from Newhaven up to the Meadows, following the No 1 National Cycle Route as far as Haymarket (which is an old railway line, so no steep bits!) and then via the roads. Unfortunately I’d forgotten to bring my Sustrans map with me, which would have shown me the quieter roads to use. As I reached The Meadows, I found myself managing to join the end of the organised led cycle route around the closed streets and into The Meadows itself, where the cycle event was happening. I have to say, it was so nice cycling along Melville Drive with no traffic, although the number of bikes on the roads made it feel like Ho Chi Minh City in the nineties!
There was plenty happening at The Meadows – including bikes everywhere. Dr Bike and Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op were there doing free bike checks (got my brakes and gears adjusted and my chain oiled!), there were shows by Scottish and British Trial Bike champions, live music, challenge courses and games for kids plus stands by Sustrans, Bikes for Refugees etc. Unfortunately it started to rain early afternoon, so I headed home at top speed – downhill all the
Well done Marie, and great to hear that so many people were out on their bikes despite the not-so-great weather.
As for me – well, I don’t actually drive (I can, I have a licence and everything, I just really don’t like to!!), so I am generally car-free anyway. I walk with my boys to school on Mon-Weds and get the bus to any activities we are doing. On Thursdays and Fridays I get the bus to and from work, and I also run part the way home on Thursdays. However, on the weekends we do, as a family, tend to go out for trips or to visit family and friends in our car.
On Car-free day though, we started out with a relaxing morning (well as relaxing as life gets when you have two small boys!) and put our well used bread maker back in action again to make our lunch. We made boats from our recycling bits and bobs and tested them in the paddling pool – you will note that Dylan made a train ‘boat’!! (he’s a wee bit mad on trains). Later, we walked to the local co-op and picked up our supplies for dinner (and some freshly baked cookies of course). Finally, I made a trail with sticks for the boys to follow and find a prize at the end of the trail. These activities were suggestions of ‘50 things to do as a family’ which is optional ‘homework’ from Callum’s school, and has given us some nice ideas of wee things to do together close to home.
So hopefully this has shown that we can all try to include a few more car-free days into our busy schedules for a bit of a slower-paced, sustainable and relaxing life-style.