Streets in Norwich close for car-free day

Alexandra Road in Norwich's Golden Triangle was closed for a street party to celebrate Norfolk's Car Free Day

Alexandra Road was closed for a street party to celebrate Norfolk's Car Free Day. - Credit: Ben Price

Streets in Norwich closed to traffic over the weekend as people celebrated Norfolk's Car Free Day.

The day, organised locally by Norfolk County Council, encourages drivers to give up their cars in support of its aim to reduce air pollution and congestion on our roads.

Ben Price, a Green Party city and county councillor, brought a motion to Norwich City Council three years ago to endorse the day, which is celebrated internationally.

He: "Not only is there less carbon being used, creating better air quality, but it is also a day where communities come together."

Anyone could apply for a temporary road closure and free Street Play licence for September 19 as a way to celebrate the day.

Green Party councillor Ben Price at Helena Road in Norwich, one of the roads which closed for Norfolk's Car Free Day.

Green Party councillor Ben Price at Helena Road, one of the roads which closed for Norfolk's Car Free Day. - Credit: Ben Price

Mr Price added: "It's about raising awareness that we can use cars less to create a better shared environment for communities.

"There's a psychological benefit in just being able to step out into the road and not be confined to the pavement in fear of cars that is very healthy for people.

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"We need to transition away from cars and we need to as a community to lower the impacts of fossil fuels and it has to be led by people as we can't simply rely on the government."

Sue Lawrence used the day to hold a street party for her neighbours, after lockdown marked the first time her neighbours got to know one another.

The 60-year-old applied for a licence for Alexandra Road in Norwich's golden triangle after a Green Party leaflet was posted through her door.

Sue Lawrence is a "keen environmentalist" who cycles everywhere

Sue Lawrence is a "keen environmentalist" who cycles everywhere - Credit: Sue Lawrence

She previously said: "I remember thinking how eerie it was at the beginning of lockdown to walk about with hardly any traffic and so little noise.

"But as daily walks became the norm, and everyone ventured out for their hourly exercise, I started to really enjoy how stress-free it all felt.

"It was so lovely to see so many people cycling, especially with young children."

Matt White previously founded Car Free Norwich, and said this year's event marked the second of being a countywide initiative.  

The streets which applied for licences to close were:

Lincoln Street  Cardiff Street, Grange Road, Highland Avenue, Mount Pleasant, Sewell Road, Cambridge Street, Lindley Street, Alexandra Road, Helena Road, Carnarvon Road and Denbigh Road.

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