FRANCE: car-free day gets public support

The majority of the French public supports the car-free day that took place this 22 September, according to figures from a survey by the French Environment Ministry.

Some 83% of respondents said they thought the car-free day (see previous story) was a good (41%) or very good (42%) idea, while only 14% thought is was a bad (10%) or very bad (4%) idea.

Over half the respondents thought is was a good way to tackle urban car pollution. 83%, and 21% said they left their cars at home to go to work. 83% thought the operation should be repeated, and 43% of these said it should happen once a week.

In Chambéry, where it was sunny, 52% more pedestrians were counted, and cycle lane usage went up 939%. While a rainy Lille counted 142% more pedestrians and 341% more bikes.

A sample air quality monitoring units in Paris (at place Vendome) recorded a 30% fall in carbon monoxide and a 15% fall in Nox.

According to Reuters though, a separate survey by the French Federation of Automobile Clubs said that 68 percent would be unhappy if traffic was banned in their neighbourhood, and many Paris shopkeepers seemed very unhappy, fearing that the car ban would push their sales down.

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