Authorities in London hope their support for World Car Free Day will help reduce reliance on cars and clean up the Capital’s ‘dangerously polluted air’.
Car Free Day is an annual event which, as its name suggests, encourages motorists to give up their cars for a day – switching to greener options such as cycling and walking.
The 2018 event takes place tomorrow (22 Sept) and will see around 50 streets across the Capital closed to motorised traffic.
Efforts are being coordinated by London Play – a charity that works to give children the freedom to play by shutting roads to traffic – with support from the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and Transport for London (TfL).
Through its ‘Play Streets’ initiative, London Play has been working to transform streets into ‘safe, fun places’ for children since 2008.
Play Streets, where roads are regularly shut to traffic for a few hours each week or month, are designed to provide a safe space for children to play outside with their friends, thereby encouraging a sense of community and making streets feel friendlier and safer.
TfL says supporting streets without cars is part of efforts to make London’s communities ‘greener, healthier and more attractive places to live, work, play and do business’.
Heidi Alexander, deputy mayor for transport, said: “I’m delighted that Londoners will be able to enjoy more than 40 streets without traffic noise and exhaust fumes on World Car Free Day.
“Our support for London Play will transform neighbourhoods for families and offer a valuable opportunity to inspire long-term change, helping build on our work to reduce reliance on cars and clean up the capital’s dangerously polluted air.”
Christina Calderato, head of delivery planning at TfL, said: “We’re really pleased to be working with London Play and the boroughs to transform residential streets into traffic free zones for World Car Free Day this September.
“We hope that in doing so, people will start to view streets as valuable public spaces, where you can also meet, play, walk and cycle. By creating Healthy Streets, we aim to improve the quality of life for everyone in London.”