Boris mulls car-free Sundays

Updated: 
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Parts of central London could become pedestrian-only zones on Sundays, the city's Mayor, Boris Johnson, has said.

Mr Johnson made the comments after returning from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, which operates a similar restriction on vehicles during the weekend.

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

After taking part in a bike ride with Indonesian president Joko Widodo, Mr Johnson was impressed with the popularity of car-free Sundays in the capital, where some roads are closed to traffic to allow less restricted movement for pedestrians and cyclists.

The weekly event has been running for the past 16 years, and has proved popular amongst Jakarta's 10 million-strong population.

Commenting on whether such a scheme could work in London, Mr Johnson told the BBC: "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.

"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."

The proposals come amid new warnings that the UK's roads will be congested with a further seven million drivers within the next 20 years.

Profssor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, which published the traffic forecast, told the Independent: "Traffic forecasting is not an exact science but the direction of travel is clear – towards increasing jams."

Yesterday the government announced a 'roads revolution' with £15bn pledged to improve road infrastructure, promote cycling and to mitigate the harm caused by exhaust emissions.