Energy & Environment

London to hold its largest-ever car-free day to tackle air pollution

London will hold the city's largest-ever car-free day this year in a bid to combat air pollution, Mayor Sadiq Khan announced. 

According to The Guardian, Khan said the city will be shutting down roughly 12.3 miles of roads to traffic on Sept. 22, including around historic sites such as Tower Bridge.

The effort is intended to tackle the city's record levels of air pollution, which data from earlier this year shows kills almost as many people in Britain as smoking tobacco.    

"I encourage as many Londoners as possible to join in the fun and see the city from a different perspective," Khan said, while also urging the city's residents to consider biking or walking more on the day. 

According to the report, local officials are also planning to transform a swath of blocks spanning London's 18 boroughs into "play" streets, where thousands of parents will be able to take their children for playful activities during the car-free day. 

Boroughs will also hold events to promote alternatives to driving, like walking, cycling and using public transportation. 

A majority of the city's air pollution has been attributed to vehicle use. The air pollution crisis is behind nearly 9,000 deaths in the city each year, according to The Guardian.

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