On Monday 8 February the Council of Paris passed an emission control plan aimed to provide cleaner air for the French capital. The plan is supported by the Mayor of Paris and will take effect from July 2015.
The clean air legislation will encourage travellers to switch to cleaner methods of transport and create traffic restrictions which will come into force progressively until 2020.
The first restrictions introduced this July will ban trucks and buses registered before October 2001 from the city centre between 08.00 and 20.00 hours. Then from July 2016 cars registered before 1997 and two-wheelers made before 2000 will also be prevented from travelling in the city.
These measures are only a phased introduction: between 2017 and 2020 the ban will become total for some vehicles, not just limiting the hours these vehicles may travel in the city. Additionally, by 2020 diesel cars first registered before 2011 will also be banned.
Paris has experienced poor air quality for many years, and councillors are also considering the creation of traffic-limited areas and others restrictions based on only allowing low-emission vehicles to be used within certain areas.
Financial incentives of 'up to € 500′ are to be offered to those prepared to give up their older transport. Also, one year's free travel on the public transport system is being offered to those who give up their bangers. Will this be enough to tempt those preferring to drive older vehicles? Young people under 25 are also being incentivised: they will get a year's half-price subscription to a car sharing scheme and credits of €50 for prepaid trips.
As yet there is no news about exemptions for accredited classics and their use in the city, but the car-sharing scheme 'will be set up next Spring' according to the ecologist Deputy for Transport, Christophe Najdovski.
Housing associations can apply for cash to build secure bicycle storage facilities and electric vehicle charging points, while a future Paris Council debate will discuss the merits of creating a scrappage scheme so lower paid workers needing a car can buy the latest models with the least polluting exhausts.