Brighton and Hove will hold Streets for People on Sunday, September 20, to celebrate Car Free Day and to encourage active and healthier ways of living in the city. But sustainable transport campaigners have criticised the plans for the day and say that they are not very car free and they are not doing enough to get people out of their cars.
Bike instructor and member of Brighton and Hove City Council said in The Argus: "What they are doing will give people the opportunity to have a good time on the streets but it misses the opportunity the day is supposed to provide by getting people to see their city in a different way – car free. The idea is to encourage people to think about changing their behaviour and driving less, and we won't really do that by keeping the event to these streets. This is not very car free."
Cllr Davey also said it was disappointing the council had decided to stage the event on the 20th rather than the official annual date, Tuesday, September 22 which would have involved weekday traffic.
Secretary of Brighton cycling group Bricycles thinks the roads being closed will not make a sufficient impact. He said in The Argus: "All of the areas they are using are either pedestrianised already, shared-space or not heavily used by cars. It all looks a bit half-hearted.
"Other cities around the world really make a big issue of it. Paris closes the Champs Elysees. If Brighton closed King's Road, that would make an impact, but they seem to have just gone for the easiest option."
The council defended its plan, saying that the day was about celebrating and promoting the various ways to travel around the city.
The day itself runs from noon-5pm and The Lanes, New Road, Jubilee Street and Jubilee Square will be transformed, say the organisers, into pedestrian friendly spaces with live music, performances and activities for everyone to enjoy.
There will be free rickshaw rides along the seafront and a Bicycle Alley where visitors can take the bicycle limbo challenge, or test their cycle agility on our special slalom course, as well as a slow bike race and free bike doctors on hand to give tips about how to fix your own bike.