Reflecting on Saturday’s Extinction Rebellion event, Cambridge City Councillor and Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and the City Centre Rosy Moore has reiterated the ruling Labour group’s support for planned car-free days. However, they will need the agreement of the County Council, who are in charge of the city’s roads.
Councillor Moore said;
“We saw some real positives on Saturday, particularly the clear message it sent that there is a Climate Emergency and an urgent need to tackle city-centre air quality in Cambridge.
“I have wanted a car-free day in Cambridge ever since the Tour de France was here in 2014 and I cycled around with my children on the lovely safe and clear streets.
“We would rather have had a planned Car-Free day, like Mill Road Winter Fair, but Saturday’s action made the case that there are clearly benefits to be had from closing roads. This is particularly true for those walking with children who were able to reclaim the streets rather than trying to negotiate our narrow city-centre pavements.
“While the buses worked well with a few route diversions, planning a car-free day well in advance would also enable better public transport and access to the city for disabled residents and visitors.
“It could also deliver a positive community event by enabling shops, cafés, voluntary organisations and local businesses to set-up on-street stalls and extra activities across the city centre, which would make a real addition to the carnival atmosphere that we had on Saturday.
“At Cambridge City Council we are working on the introduction of a Clean Air Zone to clean up our city’s air, but again we need the support of the County Council as the highway’s authority. Personally, I would like increased pedestrianisation of the city centre and there are many other cities around the UK that have successfully achieved this.
“We all need to play our part in tackling the climate emergency; consuming less, shopping locally and choosing active travel (for those of us that can) will not only make a real difference but will also help us to have a cleaner, healthier and more pleasant city.”