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Plans for London’s Biggest Car Free Day

• London’s biggest ever Car Free Day celebration to include 20 km (12 miles) of closed roads around Tower Bridge, London Bridge and the City of London

• Celebrations aim to get Londoners to ‘Reimagine’ their city car-free, while walking, cycling and exploring the city

• Part of the Mayor’s work to encourage Londoners to cycle, walk and use public transport to help improve air pollution and reduce car emissions

On Clean Air Day, the Mayor of London, 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 Sunday 22 September 2019.

Hundreds of activities will take place across more than 20 km (12 miles) 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. 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 and enabling them to get out and about, enjoying free events across the capital’s streets. 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 behavior needed to meet the Mayor’s ambitious target of 80 per cent of all journeys to be taken via sustainable modes of transport by 2041, compared to 63 per cent 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 per cent 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. More than half of Londoners think you can always see when pollution is bad in the capital – when in fact many pollutants are invisible and can be present in air that looks ‘clean’.

The Mayor has taken bold action to tackle London’s toxic air, from delivering the first Ultra Low Emission Zone in Central London to transforming London’s bus fleets into one of the greenest in the world. Sadiq wants to encourage Londoners to walk, cycle, and use public transport and opt for electric vehicles to help reduce harmful emissions from older petrol and diesel vehicles.

The Mayor and TfL are working with the City of London, Tower Hamlets and Southwark Council, plus a range of popular festivals including the Totally Thames Festival and Open House London, to deliver a wide ranging free programme of activities for Reimagine.

The events will include:

  • Opportunities to cycle and walk around the Totally Thames festival, the 125th anniversary of Tower Bridge celebrations and visit some of London’s landmark buildings as part of the Open House weekend
  • BMX rides, skate ramps and pop-up playgrounds, plus live music and street performances, sports and games
  • Guided walking routes with trails and treasure hunts around the City of London and Southwark, plus food markets, art installations, and health and wellbeing activities including spinning events

At least 18 boroughs have also confirmed they will be participating in Car Free Day. Boroughs including Ealing, Brent, Greenwich, and Tower Hamlets are organising their own events, while others have pledged to support residents who would like to hold a Play Street on the day. Play Streets allow Londoners to socialise and play in their streets and it is hoped there will be at least 200 across London on the day.