Brompton e-bike and GoPros among the prizes to be won for sharing #MyCarFreeTrip

04 September 2020
"Our world-leading Streetspace for London plans are making it safer, easier and more convenient to walk and cycle so there's never been a better time to make the pledge to go car-free and be in with a chance of winning a great prize"

TfL and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, have today launched this year's Car Free Day campaign as part of their bold plans to tackle London's toxic air crisis.

This year's campaign will be focused online as part of TfL's response to the coronavirus pandemic, celebrating Londoners' stories of walking and cycling from now until Car Free Day on Tuesday 22 September.

The global climate emergency and air pollution crisis presents the largest environmental risk to health in London and in cities around the world. Poor air quality stunts the growth of children's lungs and worsens chronic illness such as asthma, lung and heart disease.

With London's safe public transport capacity restricted while social distancing measures remain, millions of journeys a day will need to be made by other means.

If people switch these journeys to cars, London risks grinding to a halt and air quality will worsen, creating an adverse impact on our health.

Reduce harmful emissions

Throughout September, TfL, participating London boroughs and the Mayor will urge Londoners to walk and cycle and pledge to go car-free, helping to reduce harmful emissions from polluting vehicles and supporting London's green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

With many Londoners returning to school and work, they are being encouraged to reimagine their trips by walking or cycling for all or part of the way, not only for the environmental benefits, but also for the health and wellbeing benefits of physical activity.

Participants can show their support for active travel by sharing their journeys on social media. TfL has joined up with exciting partners to offer a chance to win a range of prizes, including a Brompton e-bike, GoPro prize packages, ten one-year Santander Cycles memberships and plenty of other themed gifts.

To be in for a chance of winning, entrants must share their content and tag, comment, follow and use the hashtag #MyCarFreeTrip on Instagram, or email their entry to

To support the pledge, Santander Cycles are offering free hires across London on Car Free Day, Tuesday 22 September, to make it easy to give cycling a go as a car-free alternative.

For free access on Car Free Day, use the code CFD2020 via the free Santander Cycles app or directly at a docking station (bank card required to complete transaction).

Londoners can also use code CFD25OFF to get 25% off a Santander Cycles annual membership - that's just £67.50 for a year of Santander Cycles, with all 30-minute journeys included.

The annual membership discount code is valid for redemption on 22 and 23 September only and must be redeemed as a new or existing member online or via the Santander Cycles app.

As part of Car Free Day and to make walking and cycling more accessible to all Londoners, TfL's Walking and Cycling Grants London scheme is now open for applications.

This year, the scheme is funded in partnership with The London Marathon Charitable Trust (The Trust) as part of a new five-year programme to inspire Londoners to cycle and walk, with many physical and mental health benefits for individuals and communities.

The Trust, which distributes the surplus generated from all events organised by London Marathon Events Ltd, has awarded the scheme £2 million over the five-year period as part of its Strategic Partnerships programme, created in 2018 to support big regional projects that inspire activity.

Inspire activity

TfL, The Trust and Groundwork London are jointly inviting community and not-for-profit groups across London to apply for grants to get their communities walking and cycling, many of whom have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Applications are now open at and close on 15 October. Applicants can apply for grants of up to £10,000 over a three-year period.

Since it began in 2015, TfL's Walking and Cycling Grants London programme has helped more than 180 projects across all 33 London boroughs which have encouraged 27,000 participants to embrace walking and cycling.

Now approaching its sixth year, initiatives include forest walks, bike maintenance, wildlife walks, 1-2-1 cycle training to help disabled children ride safely and independently, bereavement walks, and courses to teach basic cycle maintenance.

Support for Wheely Tots - a registered charity which helps families and young people to be healthy, confident and more resilient - is an example of one of these projects.

Based in north London, they work with families, young people and underrepresented groups to access cycling safely. In sessions, they facilitate positive micro interactions to combat social isolation and loneliness.

Throughout the pandemic, they have adapted their projects to the new social distancing guidelines and to help those most in need. They've introduced online family consultations which have exploded in popularity as many have begun to embrace cycling for the first time.

They've also delivered bikes to families, undertaken doorstep services and provided socially-distanced training.

Community ideas hub

TfL has introduced a community ideas hub to the Walking and Cycling Grants London website, as a forum to share ideas and learnings from effective walking and cycling projects that can be easily replicated by other community groups across London.

It is also working closely with local boroughs to rapidly create space for walking and cycling across the city through the Streetspace for London plan to help people make car-free journeys.

This includes creating new and upgraded cycle routes, low traffic neighbourhoods and a landmark scheme at Bishopsgate where new temporary traffic restrictions came into operation this week to transform the area for people walking, cycling or using the bus.

Since May, more than 50km of new or upgraded cycle lanes have been built or are under construction, along with more than 16,500 square metres of extra pavement space.

More than 1,500 extra cycle parking spaces have also been installed across London, focused around busy areas like high streets and transport hubs to make local journeys to shops easier for people cycling.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: 'This year's Car Free Day is more important than ever to make sure we prevent a damaging car-led recovery from this pandemic which would see our streets gridlocked, harm our economy and result in one public health crisis being replaced with another caused by toxic air pollution.

'Our world-leading Streetspace for London plans are making it safer, easier and more convenient to walk and cycle so there's never been a better time to make the pledge to go car-free and be in with a chance of winning a great prize.'

Christina Calderato, Head of Transport Strategy and Planning at TfL, said: 'We're excited to announce our plans for this year's Car Free Day campaign, which build on the success of last year's event by encouraging Londoners to get out of their cars and explore our great city by walking and cycling.

'Great progress has already been made to improve London's air quality over recent years, including the world's first Ultra Low Emission Zone which helped reduce roadside nitrogen dioxide by 44% in central London.

'We are also making bold steps to make our streets safer for everyone through our Streetspace London programme and working with boroughs to deliver new Low Traffic Neighbourhoods across London.

'As the city recovers from the pandemic, we are doing everything we can to embrace the challenge of eradicating air pollution permanently. Engaging the public to imagine their city car-free this September will help us along this journey.'

Health and wellbeing

Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman of The London Marathon Charitable Trust, said: 'Providing opportunities for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to get active through walking and cycling has never been of such importance, not just as a means of transport but for the health and wellbeing benefits too.

'This grant award to Transport for London will support hundreds of projects in removing barriers to walking and cycling, particularly amongst BAME groups, women, people with disabilities and those on low incomes, inspiring activity amongst thousands of people and paving the way for London to become a more physically active city.'

Lindy Kelly, Executive Director of Groundwork London, said: 'As we move out of the pandemic, we now have a huge opportunity to change the way Londoners from all communities get around and experience our city.

'Groundwork is very excited about supporting this change, helping to get the communities who need it most the opportunity to change the way they get around, explore our city, bring people together, use cleaner air and enjoy health and wellbeing benefits, all of which come with walking and cycling more.'

James Austin, Sustrans London Director, said: 'It is unacceptable that over two million Londoners live in areas blighted by dangerous and illegal levels of NO2, including thousands of young people who deserve a healthy start in life.

'Air pollution is a real threat to our health and wellbeing and until we end our reliance on motor vehicles and walk and cycle more for local journeys, the terrible consequences of the pollution in our streets will continue. Sustrans is encouraging Londoners to take part in Car Free Day 2020 and choose a healthier future.'

As part of this year's Car Free Day campaign, TfL will also collaborate with Open House London, the world's largest architecture festival, which returns this year from 19 - 27 September with a combination of building visits and an online programme.

Those keen to explore the city on foot or by cycle this Car Free Day will have access to an expanded series of Open House London guided and self-guided walking and cycling tours.

The tours cover a range of themes including architecture responding to the climate emergency, hidden infrastructure and a tour of green spaces.

A self-guided walk will celebrate 20 years of TfL by taking in sights demonstrating the scope and impact of its services over two decades. The walk will offer the public a chance to discuss operations and history with TfL staff along the route.

Those keen to attend the events - which are subject to change due to the pandemic - are encouraged to check the Open House London website at which will provide the latest updates.

Ella McCarron, Deputy Head of Open House London, said: 'Open House is excited to be reconnecting Londoners with a city they've been locked out of for months with nearly 450 events in our programme including building tours, guided walks and online discussions.

'Car Free Day is an excellent initiative to encourage Londoners to explore the city by walking or cycling, and we've designed a range of self-guided tour itineraries that can help people discover the amazing architecture around them while they do so.'

This year's Car Free Day campaign follows London's biggest ever celebrations in 2019, with the capital's first Car Free Day event giving thousands of Londoners and visitors the opportunity to 'reclaim' their streets and reimagine their city car-free.

Sixty-five per cent of Londoners surveyed after last year's Car Free Day say the events inspired them to use the car less - helping encourage the change in behaviour needed to meet the Mayor's ambitious target of 80% of all journeys to be taken by sustainable modes of transport by 2041, compared to 63% today.

Notes to editors

  • More than two million Londoners live in areas that exceed legal limits for NO2, including more than 400,000 children under the age of 18, resulting in a city-wide health emergency
  • Walking and cycling are healthy and sustainable ways to travel. Research shows that leaving the car at home and walking briskly or cycling for a total of just 20 minutes a day has a positive impact on your health. It improves your mental wellbeing and reduces your risk of chronic illnesses
  • TfL has launched a free online cycle training course to help first-time riders ready to cycle, and provide regular cyclists with tips to improve their skills. Cycle Skills is the first online course to cover everything from getting your bike set up for your first ride to tips for cycling safety with children in one place and is tailored to cycling in London. Check it out here:
  • City Hall analysis of the Breathe London air quality sensor at Bank Junction found concentrations of nitrogen dioxide were 40% lower on Car Free Day 2019 than the day before, and a temporary monitor installed by King's College at Regent Street to measure the impact of its closure found nitrogen dioxide concentrations were 60% lower on Car Free Day compared to the day before
  • Approximately 6.8 million private vehicle trips are made each day, 70% of which could be feasibly made by a sustainable alternative
  • A YouGov poll (1,416 people) conducted immediately after Car Free Day 2019 found that:
    o    65% of Londoners said that Car Free Day events inspired them to use a car less
    o    57% of Londoners think holding a Car Free Day event in London is a good idea
  • This year marks 10 years of cycle hire in London. Through Santander Cycles, Londoners have access to 781 docking stations and more than 12,000 bikes. And with an additional 1,700 new bikes currently being added to the fleet, TfL is making it easier than ever to reimagine your journeys car-free
  • The Car Free Day 2020 competition will give entrants the chance to win a Brompton Electric M2L E-bike, GoPro prize packages, annual memberships for Santander Cycles and other prizes offered by TfL. Enter by sharing a photo or story on Instagram, tagging and following the Transport for London Instagram account and using the hashtag #MyCarFreeTrip or sending your entry to Entries should detail your Car Free journey. Please view full Terms & Conditions online at

About The London Marathon Charitable Trust (The Trust)

  • Since 1981, The London Marathon Charitable Trust has awarded grants totalling more than £92 million to 1,460+ organisations in London, Surrey and other areas
  • The Trust's vision is a society in which everyone is physically active, contributing to their health and wellbeing. It works towards this by enabling people to become and remain physically active regardless of age, gender, ability, race or background, and by challenging inequality of access to physical activity
  • The Trust awarded Transport for London a grant of £2 million towards the next phase of the Walking and Cycling Grants London (WCGL) programme, which shares The Trust's ambition of inspiring activity by removing barriers to walking and cycling
  • This funding from The Trust will contribute to TfL's WCGL programme budget for the next five years, aiming to fund a minimum of 300 new walking and cycling projects and supporting a minimum of 70,000 people to become more active through walking and cycling over the next five years
  • This grant was awarded in December 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the UK. Due to the uncertainty created by the pandemic, The Trust is not currently accepting any new grant applications. For more information visit