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February 23, 2015Paris moves to ban polluting vehicles from its roads

Paris, like many other cities around the globe, is moving towards becoming a cleaner and greener environment. One measure this city is taking is that of banning the use of cars and utility vehicles which are more than 17 years’ old, as well as lorries or buses older than 18 years within central Paris.

Socialist Mayor Bertrand Delanoë has laid down the plans to have this scheme up-and-running by this summer, though drivers are advised that these vehicles will still be permitted to use the Perpherique; the ring road bordering the city centre. These mild measures are just the first step in an ongoing plan to create a city centre which, by 2020, is fully exempt from private vehicles except cars registered after 2011 and motorcycles registered after July 2015.

These rolling restrictions are being put in place in order to lower harmful emissions from the city’s centre. With these measures however, it is expected that there will come a boost in France’s domestic car industry, in particular if other cities around France catch on to and replicate this scheme themselves. Indeed, the French government are toying with the idea of even offering subsidies for owners of old diesel vehicles to help them make the switch to electric cars. In this respect, the scheme should prove both economically and environmentally viable for not only Paris but the rest of France.

There are, however, reservations from both the public and those within congress. The Parisian Mayor herself, Anne Hidalgo, noted that while older, diesel vehicles were extremely polluting, “even the filters in the latest models can’t get rid of the most dangerous fine particles”. Indeed, a pro-driver campaign group released the statistic of a potential three million cars facing scrapping in the next five years should this scheme go ahead. Demonstrations have already been held in mass by motorcyclist groups, and more are anticipated as the plans develop further, moving toward completion.

Despite these protests, the French government are determined to continue with their movement against the use of diesel vehicles within the city centre. Further measures to achieve this include raising the tax on diesel fuel in an attempt to cut down diesel usage further still.

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