Cycling, buses and street hockey on World Carfree Day

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Numerous events were held around the world during the lead-up to World Carfree Day on September 22.The global event is organized by numerous organizations and individuals which aim to promote an alternative to a car-dependent lifestyle.

Though the event only lasts for one day a year and is often largely ignored by those not involved directly with the environment, organizers hope that the annual event will encourage people to consider how they could use alternative measures of transport, reduce the environmental damage associated with car travel and bring benefits to cyclists and pedestrians.

Car-free events were held around the world: in Moscow cyclists organized a ride around the Khimki Forest which is threatened by the planned Moscow-St. Petersburg highway; in the UK families in Brighton gathered for a mass bike ride on Sunday, September 19; and cyclists in Hong Kong took to the streets to promote the zero carbon form of transportation.

On September 22 several streets in Winnipeg, Canada were closed to cars and neighborhood games of street hockey and chess were organized, while in the United States, residents in North Carolina were treated to unlimited free bus rides throughout the city.

Other groups such as Smart Move also aim to raise public awareness of alternative means of travel. The ongoing global Smart Move campaign advocates buses as a more environmentally friendly alternative. Campaigners argue that given the low occupancy rates of cars, travelling by bus is more environmentally friendly than using even a hybrid car.

A full list of events from World Car Free Day can be found on the group's Facebook page at

The UK chapter of Smart Move will be launched on November 2-4 at the Eurobus expo 2010.

Information about the Smart Move campaign can be found at: