SIR JIMMY Savile threw his weight behind a drive to reclaim the streets for pedestrians yesterday.

In an event marked with street entertainment from musicians, jugglers and performance artists, Sir Jimmy opened Newcastle's first In Town Without My Car event in Stowell Street.

The Chinese community set tables and chairs in the street, where there was an opportunity to sample some of their traditional delicacies.

Newcastle City Council leader Tony Flynn said: "In Town Without My Car aims to encourage people to leave their cars behind and experiment with alternative forms of transport.

"We hope it will show just how different a street can feel when cars are removed from the equation.

"We are not anti-car, but many journeys can quite easily be carried out using alternative forms of transport."

Nexus director general Mike Parker said: "Providing attractive alternatives to the private car is a critical factor in fighting congestion. We applaud this initiative, as it empowers people to make choices about the mode of travel they use to enter the city."