Playing Out on International Car Free Day

Chichester Car Free Day supporters enjoyed a lively and productive meeting at the Park Tavern on the Monday the 29th April. We decided to refocus our efforts towards holding a family oriented mini festival on South St. to coincide with International Car Free Day on Sunday the 22nd of October. Sarah Sharp proposed we should apply for a “Playing Out Street Order”. These orders allow for temporary closure of streets so that Children can enjoy activities where traffic would normally prevent them from playing. The idea originated from two Bristol neighbours, Alice Ferguson and Amy Rose, who came up with the idea of short, resident-led road closures in 2009. Playing out orders are limited to a duration of three hours so the event is now planed to run from midday until 3pm. We are rebranding our campaign “Playing Out on International Car Free Day”.

Logo from-Playing Out CIC is a small, not for profit, national social change organisation founded by parents.
Logo from-Playing Out CIC is a small, not for profit, national social change organisation founded by parents.

Sarah Sharp has previously organised similar events but we are also particularly lucky to have Peter Wilson on our team who has a long career in promoting road safety. Peter has extensive experience in organising similar events in the Westminster borough of Central London and he brought so many ideas to the table we had trouble writing them all down. We are also glad to be joined by Sustrans representative Adam Bell who is able to run a mobile bike workshop on Car Free Day and has a wealth of contacts to help us promote sustainable transport.

Peter Wilson helped organise and stage this event at Marble Arch.
Peter Wilson helped organise and stage this event at Marble Arch.

Supporting a Car Free Day will allow our local authorities to “raise awareness of the issues and ways in which residents and businesses can contribute to mitigate climate change”. This is an objective we passionately share with our County Council who unanimously agreed to support this as part of the landmark Climate Motion on the 5th April 2019. Also our District Council state that “We must act now to reduce traffic, encourage better lifestyle choices for our citizens and become a greener, better connected city where the needs of all generations are catered for” this commitment is given in the document “Chichester Tomorrow, A Vision for Chichester City Centre”. Indeed we feel that a Car Free Day event is the perfect opportunity to jointly combine these aims towards making Chichester a cleaner greener city that everyone will love to visit.

Photo from Winden and Whyke Lane playing out event that Sarah Sharp helped stage.
Photo from Winden and Whyke Lane playing out event that Sarah Sharp helped stage.

Our group has discussed ideas with most businesses along South Street. The concept has been generally well received with Kiwi Recruitment being particularly excited at the prospect of activities in the street. Business Initiative District (BID) have commented that the event might draw more customers towards South St businesses. The Chichester Music Academy is offering to provide live music and we have been in contact with Chichester Cathedral who have offered to provide lunch to our team of performance art dancers.

There is much still to be organised but we are looking forward to holding a fun family playing out event on International Car Free Day 2019.

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