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Environment, Transport and streets

People to party and reclaim the streets as West Norwood goes car free for a day

Traffic noise will be silenced and roads will be reclaimed by people when West Norwood goes ‘car free’ for a day on Sunday 18th September.

Calm will descend on Norwood High Street as it is closed to all traffic from 12 noon to 5pm, with cars and buses replaced instead by picnicking families, a bandstand, space hoppers, a roller disco and much more.

The smell of delicious food stalls will replace petrol fumes, and sofas and trees will be set up in the middle of the normally busy road allowing people to eat, drink, talk, listen to music and enjoy a host of other entertainment, including knitting workshops and a display by the Streatham Ninja Knitters, children’s entertainers, Dr Bike maintenance sessions and guided walks around the famous West Norwood Cemetery.

The day is being organised by Lambeth Council to celebrate more sustainable forms of transport such as walking and cycling, and also provide ideas for how in the future we may be better able to use urban spaces so they are not dominated by traffic, pollution and congestion. It follows on from last year’s award winning Car Free Day in Clapham, which attracted a huge turn-out.

Car Free Day will also showcase the latest design proposals for improvements to the West Norwood neighbourhood, which include better pedestrian crossings, wider pavements, tree planting and landscaping. The council is currently developing urban realm improvements for the area in partnership with design consultants EAST.

The event is being sponsored by the council’s partners Veolia Environmental Services and FM Conways, who will be making the arrangements for the road closure, and is being held as part of European Mobility Week, which encourages public awareness of the need to act against pollution caused by the increase in motorised traffic in the urban  environment.

Cllr Nigel Haselden, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Strategic Transport on Lambeth Council, said: “Last year’s car free day in Clapham was a brilliant success and this year’s event in West Norwood promises to be just as good.

“Car Free Day gives residents and businesses the opportunity to reclaim their neighbourhood from traffic and have a wonderful street party with their neighbours and make new friends. It also gives people a chance to see how we might be better able to use public spaces, so that they are not dominated by constant traffic and congestion.”

Veolia’s senior contracts manager, Robert Seear, said: “As a company committed to reducing carbon emissions and who promotes alternative methods of travelling to work amongst our own employees, we fully support this initiative and encourage the enthusiastic participation of Norwood residents.”

ends

For more information about this year’s event contact Suzy Harrison on sharrison@lambeth.gov.uk or 020 7926 0686.

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