Saturday 22 September 2018 1:24 AM UTC
LONDON Sept 22: More than 15 councils across the capital have committed to joining the event and will bar vehicles from some of their roads, with almost 80 streets being turned into motor-free zones for up to 24 hours.
The move is part of optimistic plans to encourage the curbing of emissions after it was revealed earlier this year that London’s air pollution levels could fall by as much as 89 per cent if roads were closed to cars.
While it is likely to cause an inconvenience to local drivers, most of the roads are not main routes so it’s unlikely that it will have a huge impact on traffic in the capital.
Various cities around the globe will be taking part over the course of the same day, with the campaign spanning across Europe and as far as China, Colombia and Indonesia.
London is the only UK city where councils are actively participating, having received the backing of both the Mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport for London.
But with some 60,000 streets within a six-mile radius of Central London, the 80 roads involved make up just 0.1 per cent of the city.
Council involvement would have been encouraged following the results of a recent air pollution study in the capital.
It calculated a huge decline in pollution when cars were blocked from using routes in the centre of the city.
Measurements taken by King’s College London during the 37th London Marathon in April showed that harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions fell by a massive 89 per cent during the event because of the reduced use of cars, buses, vans and trucks.
Experts said the results showed the collective impact a wide-scale ban on vehicles from entering city centres could have on the UK’s poor air conditions.
Which London roads will be closed to cars on September 22?
Islip Street Kentish Town School
Brentham Way & Winscombe Crescent
St Mark’s Road
Lovell Road (Honilands Primary School)
Greenwich Town Centre
Woodberry Down Estate
Herbert Butler Estate
Mount Pleasant Road
Kingston upon Thames
Park House Gardens
Forest Pevensey Roa
With London preparing to introduce Ultra Low Emissions Zones in Central London next year and inner London by 2021 – slapping £12.50 charges on motorists with no discount for residents – it’s unsurprising that the initiative has received the backing of city officials.
TfL announced earlier this week that it was getting behind the ban to free-up streets for people to ‘play, meet, walk, cycle and enjoy’.
As a result, almost 80 roads across London from Hackney to Ealing will be traffic free on 22 September.
TfL has teamed up with children’s charity London Play to promote the event.
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