Nearly 12 miles of roads in London will be closed off for the city’s biggest car-free day yet. This is being done in a bid to tackle the city’s air pollution crisis. The event will take place on September 22, reports The Guardian.

All roads around London Bridge, Tower Bridge and much of the City of London will be closed for the event. This is the first time a London mayor has decided to close down large sections of roads. Incidentally, the event falls in line with global World Car Free Day.

Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, said: “I encourage as many Londoners as possible to join in the fun and see the city from a different perspective.” Almost 150,000 Londoners are expected to take part in the event.

london car free day
Street view of Trafalgar Square at night in London.

Air pollution crisis in London is a serious threat

London’s air pollution crisis kills thousands of people each year and leaves two million people, including 400,000 children – living in areas with illegally dirty air. Statistics have shown that every person in the capital breathes air that surpasses global guidelines for one of the most dangerous toxic particles. Over 50% of London’s toxic air is a result of vehicles.

The Mayor’s office released a map of the streets that will be closed. It showed that roads around St Paul’s, Monument and Bank will also be closed in September.

Also Read: 12 Of The Best Day Trips From London

Citizens of London set to actively take part in the event

To promote eco-friendly means of transportation, boroughs across the city will hold events promoting walking, cycling and public transport. ‘Play Streets’ will be opened for children on the day. Khan added,

“This will be a great opportunity for us all to leave our cars behind and explore our streets by foot, or by bike.”

This important initiative is being supported by many green groups. Organisations like Greenpeace have the called the planned road closures “exciting”. Annual road closures take place in other European cities as well, including Paris.

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