Credit: John Nguyen/PA Wire

Brompton reimagines petrol station in central London for this year’s World Car Free Day

Brompton has reimagined a dilapidated petrol station in central London for World Car Free Day 2022, taking place today, 22nd September.

The petrol station features test ride and track facilities for both standard and electric Bromptons, a Brompton Bike Hire dock, a consultation station with ‘Possible’ (a Brompton partner inspiring climate action), refreshments for the morning rush of commuters, and alcohol-free beer in the evening for those heading home. The space also includes artwork, parklets and green space.

Located between Borough Road and the Newington Causeway near Elephant and Castle, the bike manufacturer said it has created a vision of what the future in our cities could look like if more space were allocated to people rather than cars.

As fuel prices remain high, the company is also seeking to highlight the high cost of driving compared to that of cycling. According to Cycling UK, “updated Department for Transport travel figures show a huge 47% surge in weekday cycling trips since petrol prices began escalating in March”.

Brompton Bike Hire has recently announced an overhaul of its pricing. Brompton Bikes can now be hired for £5 a day, with no joining fees. Riders can hire from a locker that’s convenient to them and return to any of the 70+ Brompton Bike Hire locations nationwide.

Will Butler-Adams, CEO of Brompton Bicycle, said: “For too long, our cities have been dominated by the most inefficient mode of transport – the private car. At Brompton, we have long sought to highlight the benefits that increased levels of cycling and walking would bring to society.

“What better way to do that, than to totally reimagine a space formerly used as a petrol station. Our cities have changed and are continuing to change. We hope that turning a dilapidated old petrol station into a green transport hub will show people what’s possible when it comes to their own perception of what cities are for.

“We also hope that this inspires people to ask more from politicians, and expect better from our streets than the current high levels of traffic and toxic air pollution.”

Read more: World Car Free Day: “Our cities can be transformed if we think about transport differently”

Will Norman, walking and cycling commissioner for London, said: “With the realities of the impacts of climate change becoming ever clearer, it has never been more important to re-imagine how we move around our cities.

“Car Free Day gives us an opportunity to do just that, and experience streets which prioritise people over cars. I’m delighted to be at Brompton’s vision for the future on Car Free Day, thinking about the potential for other spaces across London to be like this.’’

Hirra Khan Adeogun, head of Car Free Cities at climate charity Possible, said: “So much of our public space is dominated by private cars and we all deserve better. To address the climate crisis and make our cities happier, healthier places to live we need to reduce the amount of cars on our roads and liberate space for people and communities.

“Taking over a petrol station will help people envision a bold alternative to the status quo, showing that space in cities can put people before cars and that doing so benefits us all.”

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