Cardiff will close 14 of its roads to traffic this Sunday as the city plays host to its biggest ever Car Free Day (13 May 2018).  

Living Streets Cymru, part of the UK’s charity for everyday walking is taking over an area of the city normally occupied by cars and transforming it into a place for people to walk, socialise and enjoy a cleaner Cardiff.

Cardiff is currently at the air pollution limits set by the World Health Organisation of 10 micrograms per cubic metre[1], with other towns and cities in Wales already exceeding it. Living Streets Cymru hopes to use Cardiff Car Free Day to raise awareness of how easy it can be to swap everyday journeys by car to walking journeys, and the improvements on offer to air quality when we do.

A variety of free, family-friendly entertainment will be on offer including BMX stunt riders, live music, a skateboard ramp, a climbing wall and a mountain biking track. Children will be tasked with sharing their own ideas for the future by chalking out designs for a city designed around people, not vehicles.

Along with partners, including Public Health Wales, Living Streets will be monitoring the air quality in the city centre on the day to better understand the contribution congestion and traffic flow makes to the city centre’s air quality.

Rachel Maycock, Manager, Living Streets Cymru says:

“Car Free Day in Cardiff is all about showing what is possible when we close our roads to traffic and open them to people.

“We have an opportunity to show how we can improve air pollution and reduce congestion in Cardiff by redesigning it around people who live, work and travel here.”

Living Streets Cymru will also be promoting the additional health benefits on offer from walking more.

30 per cent of adults in Wales don’t walk for transport for at least five minutes once a week[2], and at the same time one in four adults in Wales[3] are classed as obese. Living Streets is urging people to #Try20 and walk for 20 minutes a day throughout National Walking Month in May.  

Rachel Maycock continues:

Just a 20 minute brisk walk can help lower the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression.

“We’re encouraging people to walk 20 minutes a day as part of our National Walking Month campaign to help them live healthier and happier lives, to reduce congestion and clean up the air. This is much more achievable when our streets are pleasant, safe and accessible places to walk.”

Caro Wild, Cardiff Council Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning & Transport says:

“Living Streets has been instrumental in making Car Free Day even bigger and better this year. This special occasion is taking place within National Walking Month, during which people are encouraged to #Try20 minutes extra walking every day in May. I want to invite everyone into the city and enjoy Car Free Cardiff!”

The Living Streets Cymru space will be outside Duke Street Arcade between Castle Street and Queen Street. A workshop for people walking to campaign for change in Cardiff will take place at 2pm, held by Living Streets Cymru and joined by Caro Wild.

Join the conversation on social media #CarFreeDIFF @livingstreets


[1] Port Talbot has exceeded the limits by the most in the UK (18 micrograms per cubic metre), with Swansea (13) and Chepstow (12) following close behind.