London

London car-free Sundays idea to be reviewed, says mayor

Boris Johnson on the mass cycle ride in Jakarta Image copyright PA
Image caption Every Sunday some roads are closed to traffic in Jakarta to allow people to cycle and walk through the city

Boris Johnson has said he will consider plans to introduce car-free Sundays to parts of central London.

The mayor of London made the comments after taking part in a similar event in the Indonesian capital Jakarta.

He said: "I will certainly be asking Transport for London to dust down those old ideas and let's have a look."

Mr Johnson took part in a bike ride alongside new Indonesian President Joko Widodo as part of his six-day regional tour.

At a breakfast events afterwards he said: "Wasn't that sensational? I was blown away by the popularity of the car-free Sunday here."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mass cycle rides in Jakarta have been a regular occurrence for the past 16 years

Each Sunday parts of Jakarta are closed to all traffic from 06:00 allowing thousands of people into the streets on bikes or on foot.

The event has been running in the city for 16 years.

Mr Johnson said introducing a similar scheme in London would involve a close examination of the implications for traffic.

"I think it would probably take time to bed in and it would take a few years before people got into the swing of coming out into the streets and making use of the space that a car-free Sunday provided," he said.

"We have been thinking about it for ages. I don't think you are going to get the British people out of bed at six in the morning to do it quite like that but it is certainly food for thought."

In the last two years, streets in central London have been closed during one Saturday in August for cycling events including the Ride London 100 amateur gathering and pro-cycling races.

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