Car Free Day: Free bikeshare passes, exhibitions and events in Brighton and Hove to mark annual day

Brighton and Hove is marking Car Free Day today (September 22) with a host of events, activities and offers.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 2:09 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 2:10 pm
The council will cover the cost of 1,000 BTN BikeShare rides for people signing up for the first time

Car Free Day is an annual global event that encourages walking, cycling and using public transport over car use. Brighton & Hove’s theme this year is ‘A liveable city for everyone’ celebrating all forms of travel.

Events and activities are running all week but today (Wednesday) the city hosted its first eCargo Bike Exhibition in Jubilee Square for local businesses and the public between 10am – 2pm. People could see the electric cargo (eCargo) bikes, speak to some of the city’s businesses who are using them and find out about support for firms making the switch to eCargo through the council’s eCargo Accelerator project.

Also this week, the city council is covering the cost of an unlock fee and one-hour journey on the city’s popular BTN BikeShare scheme.

During the week, anyone new to the scheme can sign up for a free ride using the code CFD2021. There are 1,000 free passes and they will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Sign up at BTN BikeShareThere are more than 550 bikes at over 80 hubs around the city. As you can see in the photo, I (Nicola Caines, Brighton Indy Editor) decided to sign up and give the BikeShare scheme a go on Car Free Day. It certainly woke me up this morning and the great thing is you don't have to lock the bike back up where you started.

Also today and until Sunday is a Dream Streets exhibition inside Jubilee Library showcasing pictures created by schoolchildren to mark Car Free Day.

Young people from Carlton Hill, Elm Grove and St Luke’s primary schools were asked to draw what their 'dream street' would look like. As well as the pictures already on display, children visiting the exhibition can add their own designs and dream streets to the display. There are templates available for children to draw and colour on.

Dream Streets links well with the Hanover and Tarner Liveable Neighbourhood pilot, which is scheduled to be in place next year and is designed to reduce traffic and rat-running using things like filters, bollards and camera technology, creating more space for active travel and a more liveable neighbourhood for residents.

Indy Editor Nicola Caines tried the BikeShare bikes for the first time on Car Free Day

Hanover and Elm Grove Ward Councillor Elaine Hills said: “The designs we’ve seen from children so far are fantastic and really show what young people want from their city in the future.

“We’re facing a climate emergency and have to change the way we think when it comes to travel and transport. We need to create neighbourhoods where active, inclusive and sustainable travel is second nature. I would encourage as many children as possible to come to the exhibition and show us their ‘Dream Streets.'”

Dance movement and festival

On Saturday, September 25, at 3pm, the Cilia Dance movement comes to Valley Gardens.

Hanover and Elm Grove Ward Councillor Elaine Hills at the Dream Street exhibition at Jubilee Library in Brighton

The Cilia Dance is a movement piece created and performed by local people. It uses the language of movement, instead of words, to explore how we travel around the city. The Cilia Dance for Car Free Day will also mark 15 years since Bicycle Ballet’s first Car Free performance.

Running until Sunday (September 26) is the TAKEPART festival, which promotes active living in Brighton & Hove. Organisations, sports clubs, instructors, groups and communities are giving away free taster sessions in everything from table tennis and football, to ballet and skateboarding. Find all the activities on offer here: TAKEPART Calendar of events (brighton-hove.gov.uk)Amy Heley, chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee said she was please there were so many events and activities in the city to celebrate Car Free Day.

She added: “We want to create a liveable city for everyone in Brighton & Hove. A place where we can travel sustainably with zero emissions and improved air quality. The more we can do to encourage walking, cycling and public transport use the better. We’re committed to being carbon neutral by 2030 and doing all we can to tackle the climate crisis. Only by changing how we approach travel and transport can we do this.”

More information can be found on the council's Car Free Day webpage: https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/car-free-day