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'Stupid with the city shops struggling' - Readers react to car free day in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 13:18 20 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:18 20 March 2019

A car free day has been proposed to take place on one Sunday every year in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A car free day has been proposed to take place on one Sunday every year in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2016

Norwich looks set to take part in World Car Free Day later this year.

In addition to encouraging the city’s participation in World Car Free Day on Sunday, September 22, on Tuesday night Norwich City Council voted that the Sunday nearest that date will be Norwich’s car free day each year.

While the council doesn’t have the power to stop people from using their cars, they will actively promote the event and discourage people from using their vehicles on this day.

The news has become a point of heated discussion for the people of Norwich and the surrounding area, with reactions ranging from disappointment to mockery.

This is what our readers had to say.

Mi Katsune expressed frustration that only one day per year would be ‘car free’, saying “One day a year? Surely Norwich can do better than this.”

Jordan Tidnam spoke strongly about their fear of air pollution, saying: “People don’t realise the damage cars have on this planet, give it fifty years and you’ll have no clean air to breath.”

A reader on our website said: “One Sunday in the whole year and it isn’t even mandatory. They have time before September to sort a few things out and afterwards will hopefully evaluate how it went. I love driving and drive into the city regularly but still think this is a good idea.”

However, the majority of commenters expressed scepticism about the suggestion and concerns about the practicality of the idea.

Jo N Ron Campell said: “So what about disabled drivers who can’t use public transport...hmmm me thinks this is another ploy to seal of the city centre to all traffic.”

Derek Mapes also thought of disabled drivers, saying “I suppose no thought has been made for the handicapped as usual.”

Trevor Boulter asked: “So if NCFC get to the premier league and a match is moved to that Sunday, has anybody thought of that with the hundreds of supporters coming from outlying towns and villages?”

Matt Andrews commented on the affect the campaign could have on retail in the city.

He said: “Another excuse not to come into the city on a weekend. Online shopping win. There will soon be no shops left to come into the city for at this rate.”

Mark Davey also raised concerns about footfall to shops, saying: “Stupid with the city shops struggling for customers and they want to stop anyone coming in from the country.”

Matteo Bristo said: “What about stopping the development of our countryside which has now become a frenzy? If you want to save the planet then be coherent or don’t bother.”

A number of readers pointed out that some alternative methods of transport were not available on the proposed days.

Julia Croucher said: “Useful when the park and rides around us don’t operate on Sundays.”

Another reader said: “It seems pointless trying to do this on the one day of the week when the bus services are greatly reduced. I usually get a bus into Norwich if I need to come into the city - no fuel costs, no parking charges, no hunting for a parking space, and I do have a free bus pass. However, if I need to get into Norwich on a Sunday, the car is the only feasible option.”

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