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Champs-Elysées in Paris to be pedestrianised one day a month

Paris' most famous boulevard, the Champs-Elysées, will be pedestrianised on the first Sunday of every month starting in May, Paris city hall announced this week.

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The first pedestrian-only day will be May 8 instead of May 1, a public holiday, when many of the council workers needed to run the scheme will be off work, Mayor Anne Hidalgo's office said.

From then on, cars will be banned from the two kilometre-long (1.2-mile) boulevard, from the Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde, on the first Sunday of every month, the same day that museums in Paris are also free to the public.

Nine new routes will also be pedestrianised every Sunday and public holiday – adding to the 13 already subject to traffic restrictions under the "Paris Respire" (Paris Breathes) anti-pollution programme.

Hidalgo, a Socialist, has made fighting the smog that periodically shrouds the French capital one of her top priorities.

The World Health Organization says fine-particle air pollution is responsible for about 42,000 premature deaths in France each year.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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