Street party road closures will be free of charge on Car Free Day

Published: Monday, August 5, 2019

Residents in Wandsworth will be able to hold street parties, enjoy neighbourhood get-togethers and help promote sustainable transport after the council announced it will be taking part in next month’s London Car Free Day.

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A play streets scheme in action

The decision means that street party organisers will not have to pay the normal charges associated with a street closure. Instead the charge has been waived and the organisers will be free to spend that money on extra bunting, food and drink.

A wide range of community events are expected to take place on Car Free Day London – which falls on Sunday, September 22.

With their streets free of traffic and closed to passing vehicles, children will be able to play safely in the road space outside their homes while mums and dads will have the chance to join in the fun and games or spend time chatting and meeting new friends.

To qualify for a free street closure, residents and community groups need to apply online by 5pm on Friday, August 23.

The normal costs involved with a pre-planned road closures, such as drawing up and publishing legal notices, will be met using specific funds promoting sustainable travel and air quality initiatives – keeping the whole thing free of charge for Wandsworth residents.

Last month the council approved the borough’s first “Play Streets” scheme outside Granard School in Putney, which saw dozens of children and their parents enjoying a car free playtime outside the school gates.

And proposals have been drawn up to pilot a similar “School Streets” initiative at five local primary schools in the coming academic year. The scheme would see the roads containing school entrances closed to traffic when pupils arrive in the mornings and leave in the afternoons – in a bid to encourage safer and healthier travel to and from school, while also helping to boost air quality levels.

Transport spokesman Cllr Paul Ellis said: “Car Free Day will give our residents the opportunity to stage some fantastic community events that provide safe outdoor space for families to enjoy while at the same time encouraging others to give up their cars for the day and use other forms of sustainable transport.

“This is just one of a number of initiatives in our climate change programme to encourage residents to live more sustainable lives. These include walking and cycling more, joining one of our many car clubs, taking advantage of an increasing number of electric car charging points and minimising household waste by reusing and recycling more.

“And we hope that even if people don’t attend a street party on Car Free Day they will pay attention to the message and minimise their use of cars whenever possible, not just on September 22, but at all other times too.”

Event organisers must bear in mind that not all streets in the borough can be closed to vehicle traffic – especially those that contain bus routes, busy junctions and commercial properties needing deliveries. The council also has no authority to close roads that are part of the red route network.

Go car free on September 22