Brompton held a pop-up event to mark World Car Free Day (Pic: John Nguyen/PA Wire)

World Car Free Day: ‘For many choosing cycling or an e-scooter can feel unattainable’

As Thursday 22nd September marks World Car Free Day, a host of micromobility brands have been launching initiatives and holding events to mark the occasion. 

World Car Free day is an initiative established by pedestrian advocacy charity Living Streets to raise awareness about the negative impacts congestion and motor traffic have in urban areas. 

Shared transport operator Tier is holding a pop-up event in London in collaboration with GPS navigation company Beeline, while British folding bike brand Brompton converted a petrol station in the capital into a “cycling haven.”  

 According to stats released by Tier, 66% of Londoners feel there are too many cars on the road in the city, with 73% saying they feel cars pollute the air in the city. The study also found that nearly 1 in 5 e-scooter hires replaced a car based journey. 

Georgia Yexley, general manager for the UK and Ireland, Tier, commented: “The majority of Londoners want to see fewer cars on the streets, but for many people choosing an alternative form of transport like cycling or riding a e-scooter can feel unattainable. Through our partnership with Beeline, our users can choose a route which avoids major roads and links up some of the fantastic cycling infrastructure already in the city. This Car Free Day we would like to encourage more people to grab an e-bike or e-scooter and see how pleasant and efficient leaving the car at home can be!” 

Tier and Beeline held a pop-up event on Car Free Day, showcasing how using Beeline’s navigation can route riders onto quieter routes in London, and coupled with Tier’s micro-mobility solutions makes it easier and safer to leave the car behind. Tier will also have its latest computer-vision equipped ‘Tarsier’ e-scooter and its recently unveiled C1 e-scooter at the event in Southwark. New tier customers can get two free unlocks and 20 minutes riding time before 24th September by using the code CARFREE22. 

Tom Putnam, co-founder of Beeline, said: “Tier and Beeline share a vision of enabling as many people as possible to travel on two wheels in a safe and convenient way. 

‘’That’s why our routing technology can be found on the Tier e-scooter app, so people can benefit from quieter and safer routes. 

‘’On this Car Free Day, we’re partnering with Tier to show people the benefits of travelling by e-scooter, and reducing the number of polluting vehicles on our roads.’’

London-based bike brand Brompton also held its own pop-up event to mark World Car Free day, reinventing a disused petrol station in central London by turning it into a cycling oasis. 

The station featured a test ride track for pedal and electric bikes, a Brompton Bike Hire dock, and refreshments. 

Will Butler-Adams, CEO of Brompton Bicycle said: “For too long, our cities have been dominated by the most inefficient mode of transport – the private car. At Brompton, we have long sought to highlight the benefits that increased levels of cycling and walking would bring to society. 

“What better way to do that, than to totally re-imagine a space formerly used as a petrol station. Our cities have changed and are continuing to change. We hope that turning a dilapidated old petrol station into a green transport hub will show people what’s possible when it comes to their own perception of what cities are for.

“We also hope that this inspires people to ask more from politicians, and expect better from our streets than the current high levels of traffic and toxic air pollution.’’ 

Read more: HumanForest launches shared e-bikes in Kingston and Sutton 

Will Norman, Walking and Cycling Commissioner for London, who attended the event, said: ‘’With the realities of the impacts of climate change becoming ever clearer, it has never been more important to re-imagine how we move around our cities. 

‘’Car Free Day gives us an opportunity to do just that, and experience streets which prioritise people over cars.

‘’I’m delighted to be at Brompton’s vision for the future on Car Free Day, thinking about the potential for other spaces across London to be like this.’’

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