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05 July 2016

France: Paris Tackles Air Pollution with Ban on Older Vehicles

A report from the French Senate committee released last year estimated that the effects of air pollution costs the country €100bn a year, including the costs of treating illness and financing employee sick leave, lost productivity, reduced agriculture yields and cleaning up sooty buildings.


Paris tackles air pollution with ban on older vehicles
by Jocelyn Timperley, businessgreen.com, 5 July 2016

Cars built before 1997 will face severe restrictions on when they can be driven within the city walls

Paris has launched a fresh attack on dirty air with new rules to prevent older, more polluting vehicles from driving on its roads.

The restrictions, which came into force on 1 July, will prevent any car registered before January 1997 from driving within the city's streets between Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm. The same rule will apply to utility vehicles put in circulation before 1 October 1997 and motorcycles before June 1999.



The ban, which won't apply to police, customs and emergency vehicles or "classic" cars built more than 30 years ago, is expected to affect around one in 10 cars in the city.

Drivers will have a three-month grace period to get used to the new ban, but after this will be fined €35 if they are caught flouting the rules. While the ban will be initially enforced by policy checks, from mid-2017 cars will be required to display a sticker that shows the vehicle's status of cleanliness.

The rules are also set to become tighter over the next four years, with only private vehicles registered after 2011 and motorcycles registered after July 2015 allowed to drive in central Paris by 2020.

In a bid to provide support to Parisians who give up their cars as a result of the ban, the city has released funds to offer them a half-price year-long subscription to the Autolib car sharing scheme, a free public transport pass and free pass for the Velib shared bike scheme, or up to €400 towards an electric or push bike.

Young Parisians who have recently passed their test but don't wish to buy their own car will also be offered half off an Autolib subscription, as well as €50 of prepaid journeys using the scheme.

Meanwhile, businesses whose activities require a vehicle will receive state funding to help them replace their old vehicle for an electric model.

Paris recently introduced a monthly car-free Sunday in several areas including the Champs-Elysees as part of the "Paris Breathes" campaign, which aims to tackle air pollution, while older HGVs and buses have also seen restrictions enforced.

The new rules are likely to further aggravate motorists who have opposed previous restrictions, including consumer group 40 Million Motorists who launched a class action suit against the city earlier this year to seek compensation for the loss of value caused to vehicles by the measures.

A report from the French Senate committee released last year estimated that the effects of air pollution costs the country €100bn a year, including the costs of treating illness and financing employee sick leave, lost productivity, reduced agriculture yields and cleaning up sooty buildings.

In related news, late last week Japanese automaker Nissan reported a 22 per cent drop in its global emissions since 2005. The company behind the Nissan LEAF - Britain's best-selling electric car - pointed to measures such as the installation of 19,000 solar panels at its Sunderland plant, which combined with the 10 wind farms already located there provide seven per cent of the plant's power demand.

The firm said it is dedicated to minimising its corporate carbon footprint and expanding its production of zero-emission and fuel-efficient vehicles.

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2463777/paris-tackles-air-pollution-with-ban-on-older-vehicles

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