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Can you go car free? Norfolk County Council and Beryl announce Car Free Week

18 September 2020

As World Car Free Day approaches next week, Norfolk County Council’s Pushing Ahead programme and Norwich bike share provider Beryl have furthered their commitment to change people’s transport habits and attitudes to greener journeys by announcing a ‘Car Free Week’ initiative.

From Monday 21 September until Sunday 27 September, Pushing Ahead is offering residents free rides on Beryl bikes and e-Bikes to help reduce the level of motor traffic on roads and give Norwich a chance to re-imagine their streets around people. Tuesday 22 September is World Car Free Day, where towns and cities encourage people to experience healthier, cleaner and safer streets.

People across the globe continue to show concern over the impact of human activities on our climate, and the growing transport sector consumes an increasing proportion of total energy and contributes a large percentage of global air emissions. Simple lifestyle shifts, such as cycling short distances to work, the shops or to meet up with a friend or family member can have beneficial impacts to the individual and their community.

To enjoy free rides throughout next week, download the free Beryl App from respective smartphone App stores and follow the instructions. Users will be offered 30 minutes free riding time on Beryl pedal bikes and 15 minutes free riding on Beryl e-Bikes. Riders are encouraged to finish their journeys in Beryl Bays to ensure the next user can easily and quickly hire a bike.

Norfolk County Council recently launched a month-long free ride initiative providing free rides during the morning rush hour, in the aim to relieve pressure on public transport and contribute to Norwich’s green transport recovery from COVID-19. The Car Free Week initiative will open this up to all hours of the day throughout next week, including all weekend.

Free week-day access during morning rush hour will continue until Friday 16 October.

Councillor Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways and infrastructure said: “We are encouraging residents across Norfolk to ditch their cars this Sunday for Norfolk Car Free Day and this new promotion will give even more people the chance to experience travel on two wheels.

“We have already seen the impact increased walking and cycling can have on our local environment during lockdown and we are working to make these forms of travel as accessible as possible and the first choice for short journeys around the city.”

Beryl CEO Philip Ellis said, “This week gives us a chance to highlight the positives that cycling can have on people’s daily lives and the places they live. Studies have shown that cities which encourage active travel like cycling and walking are economically stronger and resilient.

“The more people we can inspire to take short journeys by cycling or walking will help us reduce cars on the road which will ultimately create a healthier and happier society that can help cities grow their local economy.”

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