On the Sunday 5 May roads in the centre of Edinburgh were closed to traffic for the first time as the city joined the Open Streets movement to reduce air pollution.

It is the first city in the UK to join the Open Streets movement, a movement which has seen cities around the world temporarily close some streets to all but pedestrians and non-motorised vehicles on a regular basis.

In Edinburgh, the initiative will take place on the first Sunday of every month as part of an 18-month trial. Streets closed to traffic are in the Old Town, including the Canongate, Cockburn Street and Victoria Street and will be closed between midday and 17:00.

Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “We’ve seen how successful similar schemes internationally have proved by encouraging active travel, improving air quality and creating a safer, more relaxed atmosphere so I can’t wait to see this take shape in the capital.

“Climate change is a real threat to society, it’s clear that we have to act, and Open Streets is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. We are wholeheartedly committed to creating an accessible, sustainable and people-friendly city.”

Picture: City of Edinburgh Council tweeted a picture of one iconic street devoid of cars