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Green light for the city’s car-free day

Approval has been given to close South Street in Chichester next month as part of a community event.


Car(e) Free Day Chichester organisers have been granted permission by Chichester District Council for their community event on Sunday, September 22.


The group has previously consulted residents and business owners as part of preparations for the day.


The street closure order for South Street from its junction with Theatre Lane to the Market Cross will be between 12.30pm and 3.30pm.


Mark Record, who helped initiate the idea of a car-free day said: “This is very good news as it will allow us to run an event that jointly promotes environmentally sustainable modes of transport while simultaneously encouraging people (particularly the young) to engage with healthy exercise.


“It will be a challenge to get everything in place in time for September 22 but I am sure we can organise towards a successful event.”


Dozens of entries for a poster competition promoting the Car Free Chichester were taken up by pupils at Lavant Primary School and Jessie Younghusband School last month.


Supported by district and city councillor, Sarah Sharp, the Chichester Post and businesses which provided prizes, Stagecoach, Westgate Leisure Centre and the Picturedrome Cinema in Bognor Regis, entrants were asked to draw a picture of what they would like to see or do in the streets on a day without cars.


Chichester Car Free Day campaigners are planning a small-scale three-hour event in Chichester.


Their intention is to arrange a ‘playing out order’ for South Street so that people, especially children, can enjoy a mini street festival on International Car Free Day.


Chichester Mayor, Cllr Richard Plowman, did not feel the idea of a car- free day was very practical.


He said: “As a way to highlight as a protest that we need to move to much more sustainable means of transport, walk and cycle more, then I think it is a good thing, given we have declared a climate change emergency in Chichester.


“As a measure to stop cars altogether coming into Chichester, it is not practical.


“For example, many workers rely heavily on cars for getting to work with no alternative so the businesses open on Sunday would suffer.


“Many people live within the city walls and when suggested previously they gave good reasons such as the need to get to hospital in an emergency or regular daily care needs.


“A move to make the city centre free from fossil fuel powered vehicles including delivery vehicles with good cycle and pedestrian routes is high on the agenda in the neighbourhood plan.”


For more information on Chichester’s plans for International Car Free Day, visit:

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