Children enjoyed a traffic-free Church Street for the recent Bike Around The Borough event.
Photograph: Hackney Council

Around 40 streets in Hackney could be shut off to traffic for Car-Free Day in September after the council announced plans to temporarily ban vehicles from Stoke Newington Church Street and encouraged others to follow its lead.

The celebrations on Sunday 22 September will see private motor vehicles barred from Church Street to allow residents, businesses and visitors to experience what the road could look like with fewer cars. 

People will be able to try out cargo bikes and get their own bikes checked at stalls dotted along the road. 

The council is also inviting its 40 Play Streets to join in by simultaneously reclaiming their roads from cars. 

Play Streets, which has been running in Hackney since 2012, allows residents who sign up to close their road for a limited time so children and neighbours can enjoy the space safely.

The Town Hall’s transport and environment chief Cllr Jon Burke said: “Car-Free Day is about demonstrating how much we could improve our public spaces and tackle poor air quality if we reduced the number of polluting cars on our streets. 

“We recently secured £500k from Transport for London to reduce traffic on Stoke Newington Church Street and we’re using Car-Free Day to close it so we can show people in the area what less motor traffic could actually look like.

“Climate science and the reality of the emerging climate emergency demands radical changes to the way in which we live.

“In addition to the poor air quality, accidents, and congestion caused by land transport, cars and other motor vehicles now make up the largest – and growing – contribution to the UK’s carbon footprint.

“Car-Free Day represents an important step in demonstrating that the necessary changes we need to make to our transport system, far from being painful, will deliver major health and social benefits for all.”

Church Street has been at the centre of a long row over how planned road closures nearby, which the Town Hall is to reconsult on, will impact traffic and air quality in the area.

The council is hosting a pop-up stall tomorrow to ask locals what they think about reducing traffic on the road. 

Residents can have their say from 10am to 2pm at the Clissold House entrance of Clissold Park. 

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