The city of Antwerp will adjust its low-emission zone (LEZ) regulations and postpone the next tightening of the standards from 2025 to 2026. The city will also take additional social measures and increase the number of day passes per year (from 8 to 12).
By relaxing the rules, diesel cars with Euro 5 standard (or higher) and gasoline-driven cars with Euro 2 standard (or higher) will have access to the Antwerp LEZ until the end of 2025. Also, the option to apply for a temporary diesel Euro 4 vehicle permit will, therefore, be extended until 2025.
From January 1st, 2026, only diesel vehicles with Euro 6 or higher and gasoline vehicles with Euro 3 standard or higher will still have access to the LEZ. Flanders foresees further tightening from 2028 (Euro 6d or higher for diesel cars and Euro 4 or higher for gasoline cars).
Vehicles that are no longer allowed in the LEZ can still buy a day pass to visit the city. Until now, this was possible eight times a year, but soon this will be possible twelve times. The same applies to vintage cars older than 40; they need a day pass to enter the LEZ.
Exceptions were already provided for people with disabilities, and an additional exemption must now be applied for if they use a vehicle with an automatic transmission due to their disability.
Recognized caregivers can also register their vehicle for the LEZ if the patient they care for is domiciled in the zone. Finally, there will be a reduced rate for Euro 4 diesel vehicle owners entitled to an increased allowance.
Improved air quality
The LEZ measures were not popular when they were introduced, but the results are there. Since the Brussels Capital Region introduced a low-emission zone (LEZ) in 2018, there has been a 30% reduction in nitrogen dioxide along Brussels’ main roads.
The air in Antwerp has also improved significantly over the past decade, although the impact of the LEZ’s share in that downward trend is less clear. However, Brussels and Antwerp, like the whole of Flanders, continue to exceed the WHO’s advisory values.