Great day out in Oxford for world car-free day

Pedestrians and cyclists will have Broad Street to themselves on Sunday 22 September when Oxford join cities around the globe for a great day to celebrate World Car-Free Day.

The event, which is backed by Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council, encourages motorists to get out of their cars to highlights the benefits of traffic-free streets — including reduced air pollution.

Broad Street will offer a vision of the city centre as a public space for people to enjoy. It follows the announcement of bold measures by the County and City Councils to reduce the number cars driving into the city centre and improve bus, cycling and walking routes.

On Car-Free Day, residents and visitors can enjoy a BMX ‘pump’ track organised by British Cycling, and a chance to try out accessible and adapted cycles from Wheels for All. There will be slow bike racing and stalls providing information about walking, cycling and improving the liveability of our towns and cities.

The Lord Mayor of Oxford will officially open the event at 11am and people will be able to enjoy the arts market also happening in Broad Street that day.

Encouraging active travel is an integral part of all Oxfordshire local authorities’ and health partners’ shared priorities to create healthy places and address the climate emergency, which has been recognised by all six councils.

Research shows more and more people are already choosing to cycle. Around 40 per cent of adults in Oxford cycle at least weekly, with around 300,000 cycle trips made in Oxford every week and another 150,000 cycle trips in the rest of Oxfordshire.

This event highlights today’s announcement by Oxfordshire County Council & Oxford City Council of bold plans to tackle congestion on all major routes into Oxford & improve public transport connections into and across some parts of the city. The two councils want to make a real improvement to journey times for commuters and quality of life for residents, including improved air quality, by reducing the number of cars travelling into and around the city. Read more here

Cllr Suzanne Bartington, Oxfordshire County Council’s cycling champion, said: “World Car Free Day in Oxford will give us all an opportunity to re-imagine the city centre with fewer cars, cleaner air and less noise. It is a celebration of people-centred, environmentally-friendly ways of moving around the city and an opportunity to try out alternatives to car travel.”

Cllr Alex Hollingsworth, Oxford City Council Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainable Transport, said:

“The ambitions of World Car Free Day chime with our own vision of where we want to go in Oxford – reclaiming the streets, particularly those in the city centre, for cycling and walking wherever and whenever possible. This Sunday, Oxford can enjoy Broad Street at its best – an historic city square, with no vehicles. In the years ahead I hope we can make that permanent.”

Josh Lenthall, Senior Strategic Relationship Manager at Active Oxfordshire said:

“Active Oxfordshire is delighted to be supporting World Car Free Day. As well as improved air quality in the county, we believe that a reduction in cars on our roads will create a better environment for people to be able to build physical activity into their daily lives through walking, cycling and other forms of active travel”

Broad Street will be closed between 10am – 2pm to traffic with a parking and loading bay suspensions. This is in addition to the Arts Market which will already be located at the Magdalen Street end of Broad Street on the same day.

The closest access for deliveries will be Turl Street, approached via Carfax, Cornmarket Street and Ship Street. The usual timed restrictions of access to these roads from Cornmarket St will be suspended.