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23/06/2013 09:00 | By Tim Pollard, managing editor, MSN Cars

Cars banned from Bristol city centre for the day

Drivers up in arms as mayor declares Sunday a car-free day

Cars have been banned from Bristol city centre for the day (© Reuters)

Drivers into Bristol city centre are in for a shock today - they have been banned from a cluster of city centre streets.

Sunday 23 June has been declared a car-free day by city mayor George Ferguson, who's banned vehicles from Baldwin Street, King Street and Corn Street from 9.00am until 6.00pm.

It's the first in a run of five car-free days as part of a environmental campaign by the local council. Bristol has been named European Green Capital 2015 and local politicians have come up with a string of eco events to mark the event.

Instead of shoppers' cars, the streets affected will be crowded with shoppers, the mayor hopes. And the council is laying on choirs and circus acts in an attempt to reclaim the streets.

Motorists have reacted with anger to the news - especially when they heard of the £195,000 the campaign is costing to run. The campaign was due to run weekly, but proved too expensive.

A taxi driver told the BBC: "It's ridiculous. The passengers that want to go to the city centre, just the other side, they can't go there so you have to go all the way around." 

However, on Twitter a slew of activists have welcomed the news. Here's a sample of some of the reaction online:

Gary Dawes
Bristol car-free Sunday closes roads. I'd like to see this extended across the UK. Ace idea. Reclaim the cities!

Michael Dougall
Well done #Bristol for introducing car free Sunday hopefully #Glasgow won't be too far behind you

Philip Insall
Credit where it's due, Bristol Mayor launches car-free Sundays - starts June 23, come one come all - but not by car

Perfect for pedestrians, cool for cyclists, amazing for air quality & brill for Bristol. Car Free Carnival! June 23rd

On Bing: see photos of Bristol's streets
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