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Turning tide among drivers to support London Car Free Day 2020

Plans for this year’s Car Free Day in London will reach a new level as the coronavirus crisis prompts more drivers to make a difference.

The official event takes place on 22 September as part of World Car Free Day but the campaign is already underway and will see a large number of play streets, school streets, and walking high streets set up in the coming days across all 32 boroughs and the City of London.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan is “determined to make this year’s event bigger and better” and Venson Automotive Solutions has also said it expects the legacy to be greater and longer-lasting.

Research undertaken by the fleet management solution during the UK’s coronavirus lockdown indicates a groundswell in support for environmental changes.

Whilst not committed to becoming car free on a permanent basis, 45% of people surveyed confirmed that the radical improvement in air pollution across the globe had made them reconsider their carbon footprint and in turn electric vehicle ownership plans. A total of 17% said it reaffirmed the decision they had already made to make the switch to an EV, 19% said their next company car or private purchase would be an EV and 26% confirmed they intend to become an EV driver in the next five years.

Alison Bell, marketing director at Venson, commented: “World Car Free Day 2020 is a great opportunity for drivers to explore alternative options and see how easily they could make a positive switch to help cut CO2 emissions. 2020 has given us the unique opportunity to see first-hand the environmental benefit of fewer petrol and diesel vehicles on our roads. Transport is responsible for 23% of global emissions and petrol and diesel vehicles contribute 72% of the transport sector’s greenhouse gas emissions. During lockdown significant air quality improvements were reported across Europe and drivers are keen to see that become a permanent improvement.”

Venson research earlier this year also showed that the public would like to see more done by the Government – and businesses – to encourage the take up of EVs. Respondents believe this should focus on further investment in the charging infrastructure (62%), the introduction of more Clean Air Zones in major cities (38%) and new legislation that supports businesses to move to fully electric company car or commercial vehicle fleets in the next five years (38%).

Venson research has also revealed that two-thirds of consumers would welcome the acceleration of plans to accommodate the use of electric scooters on the UK’s roads: 64% said they would consider using an e-scooter as an alternative to public transport.

Alison Bell continued: “Whilst it seems unlikely that the country – or even London – will become permanently car-free, it can certainly become carbon-free within transport. Electric cars, scooters and bikes are becoming increasingly accessible and viable options for company car and private car drivers alike.”

Venson has also created a free Plug-in Recharging Guide to help answer common EV quereis for drivers and fleet managers. To access the guide, click here.


Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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