It is with a great deal of frustration and sadness that GoBike, along with the other organisers of the World Car Free Day event in Glasgow, including Carfree Glasgow and Freewheel North, are no longer able to organise a Car Free celebration this year.
Along with the other volunteers, we ran Glasgow’s first World Car Free Day celebration on Kelvin Way last year, which proved immensely popular. Immediately following last years event we set about trying to work with Glasgow City Council to secure another bigger and better road closure for this year.
Despite assurances that GCC are keen to have a Car Free Day celebration in our city, we have spent the last year pursuing a variety of possible locations around the city, while dealing with mixed messages, poor communication, and related uncertainty over funding from different parts of the council.
At every turn the council have made our attempt to organise something a very difficult process. We reached the stage that the barriers we were continually being faced with, and the lack of commitment from the council towards the event, mean that we unable to secure plans in time for this years date.
Glasgow Car Free Day organisers have given up their precious time over the last year to try to bring a celebration on Sunday September 22nd, tomorrow, to fruition. It is ultimately a disgrace that Car Free Days around the world are organised by local councils, from Edinburgh to London, Paris, Madrid, Bogota and Singapore, and yet, Glasgow City Council rely on the good will of volunteers to organise the Car Free Day in Glasgow.
If Glasgow City Council are really committed to Glasgow becoming an example of a true cycling city, if they are genuinely making efforts to tackle the climate emergency and to improve air quality in the city, regular car free days are needed, removing private cars from the city centre, while giving the streets over to people walking cycling and using public transport.
An annual celebration of World Car Free Day is the first and simplest step Glasgow City Council can take towards achieving that. We would like to see better and serious commitment from Glasgow City Council regarding car free days in the future.