The opportunity to ride a classic bike across Tower Bridge is just one of the attractions on offer as London hosts its first ever Car Free Day this Sunday 22 September, with the capital’s fleet of Santander Cycle hire bikes free to ride for the day.
Besides much of the City of London and the area between London Bridge and Tower Bridge on the south side of the Thames being closed to motor vehicles, boroughs across the capital will be hosting their own celebrations, including hosting more than 340 Play Streets.
As part of the initiative, Bank Junction in the heart of the City will be transformed into a festival space as it hosts the Reimagine event from 10.30am-5.00pm.
Roads in the City of London plus some in Southwark, including Tooley Street, will be closed from 7.00am-7.00pm, while London Bridge and Tower Bridge will also be closed to all general traffic during the same hours.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m really proud that London will be holding its biggest Car Free Day celebrations on Sunday, and I encourage everyone to join in the fun.
“By enabling Londoners to explore our city without cars and traffic, we will inspire them to walk and cycle as part of their daily routine – something which is crucial to clean up our toxic air.
“I’m delighted that 15 boroughs are hosting their own local Car Free Day events and 24 boroughs are supporting Play Streets, enabling people across the capital to experience what their streets would be like without cars.”
Alastair Moss, chair of the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee, added: “We are delighted to support Car Free Day, showcasing our strong commitment to a cleaner, greener Square Mile.
“London, but particularly the City, will continue to be a magnet for workers, residents, and tourists. That means we will have to be innovative and creative about the way we use space.
“This Car Free Day gives us an opportunity to reimagine our City streets and encourage more sustainable forms of transport, such as cycling or walking, to improve air quality across the capital.
“Our bold and radical Transport Strategy and City Plan are putting pedestrians and cyclists at the heart of our thinking.”
As part of the event, Santander Cycles is offering 24 hours of free cycle hire, which can be accessed by downloading the app and using the code ‘CarFreeDay2019’.
Many local authorities across the capital will be hosting their own Car Free Day events, with details available here.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.