Roads closed for World Car Free Day 2019

Roads in Otley, Headingley and Beeston Hill are to be closed to traffic on 22 September as part of celebrations for World Car Free Day.

Leeds will join cities from across the world including London and Paris taking part in this year’s World Car Free Day next weekend to raise awareness of the environmental benefits of leaving the car at home.

The three road closures include parts of Boroughgate in Otley, North Lane in Headingley and Tempest Road in Beeston Hill.

Roads will be transformed into safe community spaces with family-friendly activities, information stalls, food and crafts from 12pm until 4pm. The closures will take effect from 11am until 5pm.

Leeds City Council is encouraging citizens to choose more sustainable ways to travel (such as taking the bus, cycling, or walking) to get around on the day and beyond to help improve air quality and protect the health of everyone in Leeds.

Exhaust emissions from diesel and petrol vehicles are the biggest single contributor to outdoor air pollution in Leeds. They are also a significant contributor to the city’s carbon footprint.

Residents can find out more about the World Car Free Day events in the events section on Leeds City Council's official Facebook page.


Cllr Lisa Mulherin, Executive Member for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainable Development said:

“Like most of our city’s residents, Leeds City Council believes that tackling air pollution to protect the health of everyone in our city is a priority.

“In Leeds, more of our outdoor air pollution comes from the exhausts of diesel and petrol vehicles than from any other source. We can all make a real difference to air quality in our communities by choosing to leave the car at home more often.

“By closing roads for the day and hosting family-friendly and community-led events in the heart of some of Leeds’ most vibrant neighbourhoods, residents will have the opportunity to come together with their neighbours to enjoy the activates on offer and consider how we might all reduce our carbon footprint and improve air quality."


Residents inspired by Car Free Day can easily arrange temporary road closures in their own communities at any time of the year by applying to host a play street or street party.

Businesses, entertainers, food vendors, or residents interested in having a presence at any of the events can still do so by contacting the event organisers at:



For media enquiries about the Beeston Hill and Otley events please contact:

Chad Newton

01133 789849


For media enquiries about the Headingley event, please contact:

Matthew Hill

07940 530105


Notes for editors:

More information about the health effects of air pollution can be found at:

More information about what Leeds City Council is doing to tackle air pollution can be found at:


Let's clear a few things up


Cyclists and pedestrians are exposed to more air pollution than drivers


Wrong. As well as being better for your health and fitness, evidence shows that cyclists and pedestrians are also less exposed to air pollution than people in vehicles. This is because your air filter probably doesn’t remove pollution from the air it circulates and being on the road itself means that your vehicles is surrounded by exhaust fumes. Pedestrians and cyclists are also less exposed because even 1 metre away from traffic, there is considerably less pollution than on the road itself.


Turning your engine on and off again whilst sat in traffic releases more emissions than leaving it running.


Whether you’re stuck in traffic or just waiting to pick someone up, if you think that your car might be stationary for more than 2 minutes it’s better to turn your engine off than leave it running. Doing so will reduce the amount of gases harmful to our health and the environment that your car emits. It’s an easy way to reduce your own contribution to air pollution!


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