A think tank has urged London mayor Sadiq Khan to go beyond car free days and introduce per-mile charging ‘to lock-in car-free lifestyles for good’.
To mark Clean Air Day on Thursday (20 June) Mr Khan announced what his office called London’s biggest car free day, on 22 September, ‘to help Londoners reclaim the streets and get out and about enjoying hundreds of free events’.
The car-free events, which City Hall said would give Londoners and visitors the opportunity to reimagine their city car-free, are called ‘Reimagine’.
The mayor’s office said he hopes over 150,000 Londoners will join in the events, which aim to encourage the change in behaviour needed to meet his target of 80% of all journeys to be taken via sustainable modes of transport by 2041, compared to 63% today.
Eighteen boroughs are also organising events including working with residents to create local ‘Play Streets’, described as safe spaces where children can play and communities get together.
Responding to announcement, Silviya Barett, transport research manager at Centre for London, said the mayor should introduce a city-wide charging scheme, which charges drivers per-mile on the most congested and polluted roads.
She said: ‘One day of action will only go so far – we need to lock-in car-free lifestyles for good. We must make it easier for people across the city to leave their cars at home by investing in walking, cycling and public transport.’
In Bristol, bus firm First West of England announced that 77 new bio-methane buses would hit the city’s streets in the coming months.
It said the new vehicles, which will operate on routes across the city, offer a more than 80% reduction in greenhouse gases and a 95% reduction in Nitrogen Oxides.