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CAR-FREE DAYS MAY BE IMPOSED ON TOWNS AND CITIES

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Ministers are preparing radical plans to allow town and city centre roads to be shut for one day a year to persuade...
Ministers are preparing radical plans to allow town and city centre roads to be shut for one day a year to persuade motorists to leave their cars at home.

Tomorrow's National Car-Free Day may be the last on which drivers have no formal restrictions, according to The Times (p3).

At present councils are prevented by law from one-off road closures, except in the case of emergencies, but ministers have been impressed by French success in greatly reducing traffic when roads are shut in car-free days.

A wide-ranging transport bill to allow road closures and councils to charge motorists is being prepared for the next session of parliament starting in the autumn.

Legislation allowing new charges to be introduced in London is already close to finishing its passage through parliament.

Andrew Davies, director of the Environmental Transport Association, a campaigning motoring organisation behind Car-Free Day, said: 'We have built up public awareness but we now need to go further. We want the government to give financial and legal backing to the event to give it a higher profile.'

Meanwhile, in the first scheme of its kind in Britain, the firm FirstGlasgow yesterday launched 'swap your banger for a bus' which asked owners of old, rusty cars to trade them in for a bus pass worth£560.

The Times (p3) reports that the scheme was part of Green Transport Week. A total of 65 dented and spluttering motors were traded in for scrap.

The aim of the scheme was to encourage greater use of public transport and get old, polluting cars off the roads.

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