Car-free Sundays could become a fixture in central London, Boris Johnson suggested today after enjoying a cycle through a pedestrianised part of the Indonesian capital Jakarta.
As part of a six-day regional tour through South-East Asia, the Mayor of London took part in a mass cycle with new Indonesian president Joko Widodo on Sunday.
For the last 16 years Jakarta has had a “Car Free Day”, which has seen the city's main roads cut off to all traffic.
Tens of thousands of residents take over the streets while businesses have made the most of the opportunity to set up booths and food carts along the streets.
And the man who introduced “Boris Bikes” to the UK capital was clearly impressed with what he saw in Jakarta.
Wasn’t that sensational? I have to admit I was blown away by the popularity of the car-free Sunday here in Jakarta.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.I will certainly be asking Transport for London to dust down those old ideas and let’s have a look at them again.I think it would probably be take time to bed it 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. But it was very stimulating.
Central London streets have been shut down for cyclists twice in the last two years as part of the Prudential Ride London 100 events.