Sustainable UCL


Get on board with London Car Free Day

15 September 2021

On the 22nd of September, London's streets will be open for people only. It's a great day to explore the city in a new way, with streets transformed for cycling, walking, socialising, and playing. Read on to find out more.

An image of a city street closed to cars, with people cycling and a child playing on a slide.
What is it?

Car free day is about reimaging city streets around people. It’s not just for London, it’s a day when cities across the globe close their streets and make more space for people. With lots of events and pop-up parks across the city, it’s a fantastic opportunity to try cycling on safe streets with clean air. Ultimately, car free day is about showing how local changes can make a global impact.

When is it? 

This year, car free day is on the 22nd of September.

Why is it important? 

In cities across the world, parking and road space account for 30-60% of all land use. Here in London, over 8,000 hectares of land are dedicated to parking alone – that's 56 times the size of Hyde Park, or over 11,000 football pitches! With so much space dedicated to cars, it makes things like cycling, walking, and playing outside more intimidating and less enjoyable. UCL researchers found that a sixth of London’s streets have room for a cycle lane, amounting to 2,357 km – click here to read more. 

To address the dual crises of climate change and poor air quality, it’s important that more people choose to travel on foot or by bike, and car free day is a fantastic opportunity to try it out and experience London’s streets in a new way. 

How can you get involved? 

Look out for any specific events here or just head out for the day and experience London’s car free streets. There will be play streets, healthy streets, pop-up parks and new pedestrian priority zones for you to enjoy. If you’d like to ask your councillors for more open streets in your area, you can do so here

What are UCL doing to support cycling all year round? 

While car free day is great first step to enjoy cycling London’s streets, UCL strives to support cycling throughout the year. If you’re keen to know more about cycling at UCL, click here to find out about buying and maintaining a bike, planning a route and cycling safely, and how you can join a cycling community at UCL. 

We’ve been busy installing lots of new cycle parking on campus, and there are plenty of showers too! Check out this map to find the best location for you. 

You can also join us for our Bike Bonanza events throughout the year, beginning on the 8th of October. There will be free bike maintenance and bike sales, as well as the opportunity to get your bike registered with its own security mark. We’d love to see you there!