Traxio asks governments to harmonize or abolish LEZ-zones
Traxio, the federation of the Belgian automobile sector and related sectors, asks the Belgian, regional and federal ministers to review, or at least harmonize the various low-emission zones (LEZ). According to Traxio spokesperson Pieter Van Bastelaere, a possible abolition should certainly be negotiable, following the example of Rotterdam.
Euronorm 4 diesels
In Belgium, Ghent will introduce the LEZ as of 1 January 2020. Antwerp will tighten its existing LEZ as of the same date. As a result, Euronorm 4 types of diesel are no longer allowed in both cities.
In Brussels, on the other hand, these cars are still allowed to enter the city… at least until the end of 2021. Wallonia still allows diesel 4 vehicles until the end of 2025, no less than six years after Flanders, and four years longer than Brussels.
Three regions, three different rules
“In short, three regions, three different rules,” says Traxio, which represents some 5.000 companies, in a press release on Thursday. “We must prevent our country, by extension, Europe, from becoming a patchwork of different low-emission zones, each with its own rules and bans.”
In a press release issued in November, Traxio states that it is “astonishing, but 21% of the Belgian fleet does not comply with environmental standards.” Yet the organisation now also advocates for the abolition of the LEZ, following the example of Rotterdam.
Rotterdam has decided to abolish the environmental zone in two steps. Gasoline cars from before 1992 will be allowed again, and diesel cars older than 2001 will be allowed back into the city center of Rotterdam from 1 January 2020.
It is likely that a new environmental zone will be created in the city in due course. As of 1 January 2020, municipalities in the Netherlands will only be able to choose between two types of environmental zones. Choice one is to refuse diesel vehicles older than 15 years. Choice two is refusing diesel vehicles older than 20 years. The current Rotterdam environmental zone does not comply with these new types. Environmental zones will still be accessible for gasoline cars.