UK

Mayor Boris Johnson Mulls 'Car-Free' Sundays In London

01/12/2014 08:33 GMT | Updated 01/12/2014 08:59 GMT

Boris Johnson has said he would seriously consider making central London 'car-free' for certain Sundays, after being impressed with the scheme in Jakarta.

The Mayor was in the Indonesian capital where each Sunday parts of the city are closed to all traffice from 6am to allow people to walk through the city, get on their bikes, and set up street stalls on the main roads.

"I will certainly be asking Transport for London to dust down those old ideas and let's have a look," the Mayor said after a bike ride through the city with new Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

boris johnson

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo, Boris Johnson cycle to the palace in Jakarta

"I think it would probably take time to bed 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," he said.

"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."

Speaking later to BBC Radio 5 John Pienaar, Johnson said it would be important to look at the traffic implications of such a scheme.

Johnson is to meet the prime minister of Malaysia and the mayor of Kuala Lumpur today as he reaches the third country of a high-profile regional tour.

The London mayor will continue his work alongside a UK Trade and Industry trade mission tasked with boosting trade and investment between the UK and the Far East.

The senior Conservative has already met politicians, including Indonesian president Joko Widodo, and a raft of business leaders in three days spent in Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia.

Johnson, running for a return to Parliament in May, has been repeatedly mobbed by members of the public on his trip, which will continue for the next two days.

Ahead of events in Malaysia, Johnson said: "This fast-developing nation is teaming with new and exciting trade and investment opportunities. From great new feats of transport engineering to cutting-edge design and architectural projects, I urge more British companies to get involved."

As well as senior politicians, Johnson's engagements will involve the unveiling of the architect of the planned Malaysia Square at Battersea. The square will be the "public realm centrepiece" of the major regeneration project under way at the Thames landmark.

The announcement will be made with prime minister Mohammad Najib Abdul Razak.

He is also due to meet Tony Fernandes, owner of Queen Park Rangers and Caterham Cars, at Epsom College's Kuala Lumpur campus.