Parks not car parks for Car Free Day

Car free day text graffiti art

Nottingham is marking Car Free Day by turning a city street into a pop-up park.

Car Free Day is a global event on 22 September each year, closing streets to cars to promote active and sustainable travel, and giving people a chance to ‘reclaim the road.’

This year Heathcoat Street in Hockley will be turned into a pop-up park for the day with plants, seating and activities to show what a difference removing cars from an urban environment can make.

Councillor Sally Longford, deputy leader of Nottingham City Council and portfolio holder for Energy and Environment said: “We’re really proud of the ambitious work we’ve done to improve air quality in Nottingham. Our work supporting people to switch to electric cars, promotion of active travel and clean, green public transport means that as a city we are on track to meet our air quality targets.

“Beyond cleaner air, Car Free Day is about more than that. The historic centre of Nottingham was never intended to be a car dominated environment – the car free event on Heathcoat Street will allow people to reclaim the road and enjoy a public space typically reserved for vehicles.

“A collaboration of local artists and organisations promoting cycling will create a pop-up playground with games, bikes and street art so there’s something for everyone to get involved with.”

“For those heading to the event, there’s loads of car free options to get you there. If you live nearby the best way to get to the event is on foot. For those travelling from further afield there are plenty of cycle racks to lock your bike to. Alternatively, you can catch the bus or tram – just hop off the tram at Lace Market or the bus on Carlton St and you’re there.”

Car free day - cartoon showing people playing in the park and riding bikes

Helen Hemstock, Chief Executive of Ridewise said: “We’re really pleased to support Car Free Day. Nottingham has a growing cycling community and it’s a great opportunity to talk to more people about the benefits of cycling. We know it can seem a little daunting hopping into the saddle for the first time – particularly if your route involves busy roads or tricky junctions, at Ridewise we’re here to help people build the confidence and skills needed to stay safe and get peddling.”

Sarah Manton from Curious? Nottingham said: “We’ll be turning Heathcoat Street into a pop-up park with cosy seating and plants to add some greenery to the urban space. We want people to help us construct living walls, chill out reading on beanbags and of course play in the street! We’ll be bringing traditional games so kids (and big kids too) can enjoy traditional ‘playing out’ games such as skipping and hula hoop!”

Nathan from Smallkid Design said, “We want people to help us create a unique piece of art promoting sustainable living, we’re going to use cardboard to create temporary walls and everything has been designed so we can deliver the materials to Heathcoat Street without the need of a car.”

The free event is open to all Sunday 22 September 12-5pm on Heathcoat Street.

NCT will be discounting its Grouprider ticket from £6 to £4 on Car Free Day. This will be available on the NCTX Buses app only and can be purchased now, for activation and use on 22 September.