France: fifteen districts to create Low Emission Zones
On Monday, fifteen districts in France have decided to create or reinforce Low Emission Zones, after the Council of State had summoned the government to take measures against air pollution. Those engagements were announced in July and fit in the government’s intentions to make traffic greener and to promote alternatives for the individual car.
France lagging behind
The fifteen districts – Marseille, Clermont-Ferrand, Fort-de-France, Grenoble, Lyon, Montpellier, Nice, Paris, Reims, Saint-Etienne, Strasbourg, Toulon, Toulouse and Rouen – representing 20 million inhabitants, have signed an agreement to create Low Emission Zones by end 2020. Valencia and Arve (Haute-Savoie), being part of the zones suffering from serious air pollution, were not present at the meeting on Monday.
Today, only the cities of Paris and Grenoble already have zones with restricted access for certain vehicles. France is really lagging behind compared to its European neighbours.
As part of the future law on mobility, the state will allow the use of automatic camera control to make people respect the Low Emission Zones.
In 2011, Brussels has taken France before the European Supreme Court for exceeding the European limits for fine particles (PM10) too often in some dozens of cities. On top of that, in July 2017 the Council of State has ordered the government to take measures as soon as possible against the emissions of particles and nitrogen dioxide. Beginning of October, several NGOs have asked a 100.000 euro fine per day delay of the implementation of the decision.
48.000 premature deaths
The fine particles in the air alone cause about 48.000 premature deaths a year in France, according to figures of Public Health in France.