The city of Paris is set for major pedestrianisation as the mayor plans to cut the number of ‘polluting private cars’ by half.
In moves that could be bitterly resisted by critics, mayor Anne Hidalgo plans to close a 1km stretch of road along the river from Place de la Concorde and Pont Royal and restrict traffic on two main roads running from east to west.
Ms Hidalgo said: ‘The pedestrianisation of the city centre is starting … the idea is to go step by step towards the pedestrianisation of the city centre. It will remain open to vehicles belonging to local residents, the police, emergency services and for deliveries, but not to all comers.
‘We say clearly that our aim is the significant reduction in car traffic, as all the world’s large cities are doing. We must constantly remind people: the fewer cars there are, the less pollution there is.’
From September 2018, an electric tram-bus will run next to part of the upper highways along the Seine in both directions.
In London, Oxford Street will be pedestrianised by 2020 and an ultra low emission zone will be in place from 2019.