Car Free Day to be marked with Octagon event

Buses will be free all day on Sunday. Photo: ODT files
Buses will be free all day on Sunday. Photo: ODT files

Dunedin people will get an idea of what our city would be like with fewer cars when Car Free Day is celebrated today.

The day will be marked by an event in the Octagon, organised by Connecting Dunedin, from 11am to 2pm. Buses will be free all day on Sunday.

Simon Drew. Photo: supplied
Simon Drew. Photo: supplied
Car Free Day aims to raise awareness about the many car-free ways you can get around the city.

It will provide an opportunity for people to learn more about safety and travel planning specific to Dunedin.

People can test ride an e-scooter and an e-bike and find out about the Bike Buddy Programme.

There will be competitions, giveaways and demonstrations, such as learning how to put your bike on the bus.

Dunedin City Council Infrastructure Services general manager and Connecting Dunedin spokesman Simon Drew encouraged as many Dunedin people as possible to "join in the fun and explore alternative ways to get around our city''.

"We're hoping people will be open to the idea of walking, cycling, scootering or catching the bus to the Octagon to experience our city from a different perspective.''

"Reducing toxic air pollution and carbon emissions are vital, but they are far from the only benefit of active travel,'' Mr Drew said.

"The increasing number of people choosing to travel actively in Dunedin have told us they're keen to learn more about its benefits and how to stay safe.

"We've brought together several active travel organisations and groups to share their advice, knowledge and experience.''

Connecting Dunedin is a partnership between the DCC, New Zealand Transport Agency and Otago Regional Council, which aims to deliver a great transport system in Dunedin.

It encourages people to use alternatives to private cars, such as walking, cycling and using public transport, which could lead to environmental benefits, improving road safety, and health benefits.

• Car Free Day is celebrated worldwide on September 22.

- Staff reporter 


Oh, the irony! I understood the idea behind Car Free Day was to remove traffic from the cities of the world so that people could enjoy a 'different side' of their cities. Not so that people could gather, surrounded by cars, to experience riding a bike. Why take a free bus into a city that looks the same as it does every other day?

How about a 'fun day' where the DCC show us the best places to park our cars, discussions on the impact the reductions of parking spaces and fewer cars on the roads have on Dunedin businesses, and displays of how curb protrusions, cycle lanes, islands, combined with endless 'tinkering' with Dunedin roads, increase travel time into the city and therefore increase exhaust emissions.

Now that's the kind of information I'd like from my council.

Local journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Otago Daily Times reporters and photographers continue to bring you the stories that matter. For more than 158 years our journalists have provided readers with local news you can trust. This is more important now than ever.

As advertising drops off during the pandemic, support from our readers is crucial. You can help us continue to bring you news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter