Sadiq Khan has announced major plans to help Londoners ‘reclaim’ the streets and get out and about enjoying hundreds of free events for London’s biggest Car Free Day celebrations on 22 September.
Hundreds of activities will take place across more than 20km of closed streets in Central London – the equivalent of nearly 200 football pitches in length – including Tower Bridge (closed to all traffic), London Bridge (buses only) and much of the City of London including Bank Junction.
Eighteen boroughs are also organising events including working with residents to create local ‘Play Streets’ – safe spaces where children can play and communities get together.
The Mayor’s car-free events are called ‘Reimagine’ – giving Londoners and visitors the opportunity to reimagine their city car-free.
Car Free Day is marked across the world and the Mayor hopes over 150,000 Londoners will join in London’s Reimagine events, which will help encourage the change in behaviour needed to meet the ambitious target of 80% of all journeys to be taken via sustainable modes of transport by 2041, compared to 63% today.
Air pollution is one of the biggest health emergencies of our generation, with more than two million Londoners living in areas that exceed legal limits for NO2, including more than 400,000 children under the age of 18.
More than 50% of London’s toxic air pollution is caused by vehicles, but a recent TfL survey found that almost one in two Londoners did not realise vehicles were the main cause of air pollution, although three in four Londoners were worried about the health impact.
Mr Khan said: “London is leading the way in innovative measures to improve air pollution and I want this year’s Car Free Day events to be the best of any world city. This will be a great opportunity for us all to leave our cars behind and explore our streets by foot, or by bike.”