New plans to pedestrianise the centre of Paris

The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has revealed plans to restrict traffic and pedestrianise the city centre.

Anne Hildalgo announced the plans, which aim to halve the number of private cars on the road, months after over three kilometres of road along the Seine were closed due to dangerous increases in pollution which caused a cloud of smog over the city.

Ms Hidalgo told the Journal du Dimanche she wanted to “divide by around half the number of polluting private cars” in Paris, in order to “reconquer the public space” for pedestrians, cyclists and other non-polluting transport, including electric vehicles.

According to the plans, the 1km stretch of road along the river from Place de la Concorde and the Pont Royal will shut, restricting traffic on two main roads – the upper highway on the right bank and the rue de Rivoli, on which City Hall is located.

In addition, the number of bicycle lanes on busy routes will be increased.

Hidalgo has also announced her plans for an electric tram service that will run from City Hall through to Saint Cloud Park.

The service, which will be running from September 2018, has been dubbed the “Olympic tramway” in honour of Paris’s bid for the 2024 Games.

Hidalgo said: “The pedestrianisation of the city centre is starting … the idea is to go step by step towards the pedestrianisation of the city centre. It will remain open to vehicles belonging to local residents, the police, emergency services and for deliveries, but not to all comers”.

She added: “We say clearly that our aim is the significant reduction in car traffic, as all the world’s large cities are doing. We must constantly remind people: the fewer cars there are, the less pollution there is.”

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