If you’ve been to Leeds recently, you may have noticed some changes as it transforms itself into a city that puts people first. Perhaps you’ve spotted people cycling on the new bike tracks or strolling along widened paths, enjoying new fume-free spaces previously clogged up with traffic. If you’d like to see more, what better time than to do so than Car Free Day on the 22 of September? This annual event, which encourages everyone to think how journeys could be more sustainable, is a great excuse to leave the car at home and experience some of the city centre changes for yourself.
Read on to find out more about what’s going on in Leeds and how to go car-free yourself. What with more space to walk, cycle, sit, relax and new planting, you’re in for a treat!
Space for people on foot and bike
Free walking tours
To celebrate Car Free Day 2022, we’ve organised three free walking tours of Leeds city centre with urban geographer Rachael Unsworth. If busy roads have put you off walking and cycling in the past, stroll with us and take in some of the great new improvements that are making our city centre more people friendly. You might just change your mind.
Sign up to a tour here:
City Square will be closing to general traffic from 4 September 2022 as part of an ambitious scheme to reduce congestion, improve air quality and transform this beautiful public space into a place for people, in readiness for Leeds City of Culture 2023. For more information about the transformation of Leeds to a city where you don’t need a car visit Connecting Leeds.
Grab a self-guided walking trail map from Visit Leeds or download the free Love Exploring App for a fun, educational day of sightseeing. Whether you want to take the kids on an exciting day out, appreciate the city’s art and architecture, or discover the LGBT+ nightlife, there’s a walking adventure for everyone.
For those looking to expand their horizons, celebrate Car Free Day by stepping out of the city centre and into one of the beautiful nature walks available across West Yorkshire. Join a local walking group, like the ones hosted by Active Leeds and Leeds Ramblers or go to www.leeds.gov.uk/parks-and-countryside for lots of information about how to enjoy our local parks and green spaces.
Fancy taking to two wheels instead of four on Car Free Day? Ditch the car and discover how easy it is to get about by bike. There’s lots of new cycle infrastructure as well as upgrades to existing Leeds cycle routes. Check out the West Yorkshire interactive cycle map or Cycle City Connect journey planners and map your ride with ease. For the competitive amongst you, why not sign up to Love to Ride UKs’ Cycle September challenge. Whether you are cycling with colleagues or on your own, it’s possible to pedal up the leader-board to the pinnacle, and perhaps pick-up phenomenal prizes!
Close your own street to traffic
If you want to create your own temporary car-free space, you can apply to close your street to traffic for a few hours at any time of the year. Download the Streets for People toolkit, launched on Car Free Day last year, to find out more.