You’ll be able to breathe easy on London’s first car-free day.
With London’s filthy air constantly in the news (and quite literally all around us), ever more drastic actions are needed to address it. Thankfully, such an initiative arrives this month, as Sadiq Khan has announced that on September 22nd, vast swathes of London will be going car-free for a day – the capital’s biggest car-free initiative to date.
Eighteen London boroughs are partaking in the scheme, and 20 kilometres of roads around the centre of London will also be closed. Streets around London Bridge, Tower Bridge, and the City of London will all be shut, encouraging Londoners to ditch the car and go exploring on bike, foot, or whatever kind of emission-free transport your heart desires.
Further out of the centre, several boroughs will have designated ‘play streets’ for safe games of hopscotch, or whatever the kids are up to nowadays. For those of us retired from the hopscotch scene, events to promote cycling, walking, and public transport will be held – no word yet on whether that’ll include bus raves, though. (Just an idea that any borough is quite welcome to steal.)
Certain closed streets will remain open to buses, but Tower Bridge is going entirely vehicle free – immeasurably increasing the space for tourist selfie-taking in the process, one assumes. There will be inevitable grumbling about the impact on transport, but given that two million Londoners live in areas with illegally dirty air, and air pollution contributes to thousands of deaths each year, we reckon it’s an excellent first step to a cleaner, healthier London.
Also published on Medium.