Mayor of London Boris Johnson has unveiled a campaign to encourage more people to visit London’s West End.

Called West End It’s Time, the initiative will run for 50 days and include free events such as open-air concerts and traffic-free days.

Launching the campaign, Johnson said: “It is immensely encouraging to see West End businesses coming together to ensure we keep attracting shoppers and tourists into town during these tough times.”

The campaign comes after criticism in March that Johnson was not doing enough to support London’s West End through the recession.

It is being jointly run by the New West End Company and Westminster Council. New West End Company spokesman Jace Tyrrell said: “With many Brits choosing to holiday at home this year, West End It’s Time is an initiative dedicated to this growing trend.”

Also being launched this week by the Mayor of London is the £2.4m Only In London marketing campaign, which is aimed at drawing in visitors to the capital as a whole.