World Car Free Day 2021

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The 22 September marks World Car Free Day 2021. It is a day where people can reimagine their towns and cities as places not dominated by cars but by people and appreciate the many benefits of choosing more active and sustainable means of getting around.

Leaving your car at home and choosing active travel for your next journey is a fantastic way to take part in World Car Free Day. In doing so, you will be helping to improve air quality in our towns and cities and help Scotland reach its target of becoming a net zero nation by 2045 by reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

Whether it’s walking, wheeling, cycling or using public transport, choosing another method of travel rather than using your car has many benefits.

These include:

  • Reduced wear and tear on your vehicle
  • Increased savings
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Decreased greenhouse gas emissions
  • Physical exercise

Now is a great time to take up cycling and buy a bike. You could take advantage of the brand-new Access Bikes scheme from Cycling UK, the Scottish Government and credit unions which provides interest free loans to allow Scots to buy a bike. This initiative is a European first. The scheme enables those on lower incomes to buy bikes, thanks to 0% interest loans with no deposit required.

There are many other funding schemes available to help you buy a new mode of more sustainable transport that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

Taking part in World Car Free Day and considering alternative means of travel now will be great preparation for the Low Emission Zones (LEZs) which are expected to be introduced in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow by the end of May 2022.

LEZs are designed to protect public health by improving air quality by preventing the most polluting vehicles from accessing our city centres. These vehicles include older petrol cars registered before 2006 and diesel cars registered before September 2015.

Vehicles that do not meet the minimum emission standard and enter a LEZ will face a penalty charge.

World Car Free Day may only be on the 22 September, but continuing to reduce the number of journeys you make by car every day is a crucial step towards improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. So walk, wheel, cycle or use public transport, whenever you can, as well as on World Car Free Day.