Champs-Elysees bans cars once a month to cut Paris smog
Tuesday 26 April 2016 04.46 BST
(worth reminding the mayoral candidates about this on Friday at the LCC hustings?
With 42,000 premature deaths in France each year, there are issues of course about tackling motor traffic at a European level and beyond – SE)
Mayor’s office says iconic road to be off limits to vehicles on the first Sunday of the month
The most famous boulevard in Paris, the Champs-Elysees, will be off-limits to cars on the first Sunday of every month starting in May, Paris city hall has said.
The first pedestrian-only day will be 8 May instead of 1 May, a public holiday, when many of the council workers needed to run the scheme will be off work, mayor Anne Hidalgo’s office said on Monday.
From then on, cars will be banished from the two kilometre-long (1.2-mile) street on the first Sunday of every month when museums in Paris are also free to the public.
Nine new routes will also be pedestrianised every Sunday and public holiday – adding to the 13 already subject to traffic restrictions under the “Paris Respire” anti-pollution programme.
Hidalgo, a Socialist, has made fighting the smog that periodically shrouds the French capital one of her top priorities.
The World Health Organisation says fine-particle air pollution is responsible for about 42,000 premature deaths in France each year.