Closing roads in Camden for car free day to tackle the climate crisis

Camden Council will close roads across the borough as part of Car Free Day, contributing to its work to tackle the climate crisis and to aim for healthier World Health Organization (WHO) air quality standards.

The council is working alongside residents to develop community-led actions and borough wide policies to reduce its environmental impact, including trailing more car free areas.

Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet Member for a Sustainable Camden said:

“At our recent series of Citizens’ Assembly meetings on the climate crisis, one of the actions that delegates told us that they wanted the council to trial, was more car free zones and days.

“We want to make sure that no one in the borough should experience poor health as a result of the air they breathe, which is why we are supporting Car Free Day so that our communities can come together to play and socialise free of traffic.”

This year, on Sunday 22 September, the council are closing a number of roads as part of Car Free Day and creating five Play Streets. Road closures will include Charlotte Street, Gordon Street and Leighton Road.

Dan Coleman has help orgnaise the Car Free Day event on Leighton Road and everyone is welcome from 12 to 3pm.

Organiser Dan Coleman said: “Our residents are overwhelmingly enthusiastic to the idea of closing Leighton Road to traffic for a few hours. It's such a busy road it has previously hindered our sense of community. Not now: it's been amazing to see everyone come together on this project and also have a bit of fun.

“There will be something for everyone including volleyball, football, a bouncy castle, music and table football. We are also holding a pet show and our very own Leighton Road bake off competition.

“Local businesses Susan's Mini Market, Salvino's, Bumblebee, Healthy Wealthy and Bread by Bike are generously supporting the event with food and drinks and a big thank you to the Kentish Town Community Centre for their help.

“I’m sure the Leighton Road Car Free Festival will prove to be a great hit with everyone but this is just the start. We are working together on the 'Greening Leighton Road' project - taking car parking spaces and replacing them with trees and cycle shelters after we gathered 37 signatures from Leighton Road residents to petition Camden Council who have reacted brilliantly. It's a great example of the Climate Assembly in action."

Councillor Harrison continued: “To slow the climate emergency, and to improve air quality, we need to make big changes to the way we live. We have been working on this for some time in Camden, and we have already reduced CO2 emissions by 38% in Camden since 2010.

“Later this year we’ll start work on our most ambitious car-free project to date, with trialled closures of Camden High Street. And at our full council meeting in October, we will also hear the findings from the Citizens Assembly as we shape a new Climate Action Plan for Camden in 2020.”