Diesel powered vehicles could be banned from City centres

The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo has called for a complete ban on diesel powered vehicles by 2020 but what does that mean for the rest of Europe?

In March 2014 the air quality in Paris was at an all-time low which prompted a partial ban after the capital's air quality was found to be one of the worst on record.

Anne Hidalgo told France's Journal du Dimanche "Today 60 percent of Parisians already do not have cars, compared with 40 percent in 2001. Things are changing quickly."

"I want to see the end of diesel in Paris by 2020," she said, adding that there exceptions could be made for low-income car owners to allow them to use old vehicles only occasionally.”

Paris isn’t the only Capitol City exploring what can be done about the diesel problem, London still has big congestion issues and Mayor Boris Johnson is said to be investigating ways to reduce pollution. There are plans for raising the congestion charges by almost 13 euros for diesel cars.

Local Campaigners say this is not enough to improve air quality and are calling for an outright ban on diesel engines.

Research by the World Health Organization has shown that diesel engines, although more fuel efficient than petrol engines, produce far more pollutants which can cause serious health problems including cancer.

Other major cities including London, Rome and New York have also tried to reduce their reliance on cars by pedestrianising certain zones or using "congestion charging," which makes drivers pay a fee if they drive in city centres.

Congestion charging will become a hot topic in Ireland, in April 2014 The National Transport Authority (NTA) said that unless a road usage charge is introduced before 2020, the Government will be unable to meet its stated target of reducing car commuting levels to 45pc of all journeys.

"Dublin has one of the worst rates of public transport provision in Europe," said the AA's Conor Faughnan.

"There is over-reliance on cars as a result of the absence of an alternative."

At 36% usage, cars remain the most popular means of transport for people travelling in the city during the morning rush hour commute.


 

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