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London plans car-free days to deal with increasing pollution

By Sheetal Sukhija, Idaho State News
16 May 2018, 03:14 GMT+10

LONDON, U.K. - In a bid to deal with the rising air pollution levels, officials in London are reportedly considering implementing citywide “car-free” days.

A report in The Guardian quoted a London City Hall source as revealing that this week, officials are scheduled to discuss the introduction of car-free days across the city’s 32 boroughs.

Further, the source revealed that officials are mulling “more ambitious plans” to roll out car-free days across the entire capital in 2019.

So far this year, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said that tackling the city’s toxic air pollution from vehicle emissions and promoting other modes of transportation is one of his main priorities.

The Mayor’s spokeswoman was quoted as saying in the report, “[He] is determined to do everything in his power to protect the health of Londoners and prioritise walking, cycling and public transport and reduce Londoners’ dependency on polluting cars.”

The proposal and subsequent discussion comes months after a joint inquiry by U.K. lawmakers concluded that the county’s air pollution is a “national health emergency.” 

According to estimates released by government agencies, air pollution causes 40,000 early deaths per year, 9,000 of which are in London alone.

Currently, many global cities, including Tel Aviv, Reykjavík, Jakarta and Bath, U.K., organize car-free days.

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