French capital unveils new restrictions designed to lower its pollution levels
10 February 2015

Paris has unveiled radical plans to remove the most polluting vehicles from the centre of city. 

A series of rolling restrictions are expected to begin this summer, when all coaches, buses and lorries registered before 30 September 2001 are banned from central Paris. However, they are expected to be able to use the Perpherique, the giant ring road that encircles the city centre. 

Also on this summer’s hit list are cars registered before 31 December 1996 and vans and light trucks registered before 30 September 1997. 

According to French media reports, these restrictions will become progressively tighter over the rest of this decade until 2020, when the only private vehicles allowed to drive in central Paris will be cars registered after 2011 and motorcycles registered after July 2015.

According to one report, Parisian mayor Anne Hidalgo was quoted as saying that while the older diesel cars were the most polluting, “even the filters in the latest models can’t get rid of the most dangerous fine particles”.

One pro-driver campaign group was quoted as saying as many as 'three million’ cars could be scrapped over the next five years. Paris has already had one mass demonstration by motorcyclists against the plans and another is expected.

These moves, however, could give a boost to France’s domestic car industry, especially if other French cities copy the Paris scheme. The French government has already suggested it could offer incentives of up to €10,000 (around £7435) to get the owners of older diesel vehicles to switch to electric cars such as the Renault Zoe.

Any new scrappage scheme or low-interest loans aimed at getting drivers out of older cars would also provide a boost for models with new-generation small-capacity turbo petrol engines. Peugeot, Citroen and Renault have all recently launched such down-sized petrol engines.

The French government is adding to the push against diesel by raising the tax on diesel fuel. Similar anti-diesel sentiments are being expressed in other European cities including London because of the health warnings about high levels of nitrogen oxides and fine particles, most of which are generated by diesel-powered vehicles. 

However, Berlin was the first city to move against polluting older vehicles, banning them from the city centre nearly five years ago.

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10 February 2015
I'm for the plug-in and the removal fo diesel aspect of the the law but removal motorcycles registered after July 2015 in 2020. That just smacks of keeping the poor of the roads so the rich can get around in the best part of the city.


Hydrogen cars just went POP

10 February 2015
I like it. No messing around. Brings in to question London - is the congestion charge really about improving pollution or just another way of raising money? As long as you can afford the charge you can drive the most polluting car on the planet thru central London whereas in Paris, doesn't matter if you're Bill Gates - you're banned mate.

15 February 2015
The proposed Parisian system actually does favour the rich, though. From 2020, a 2010 1.2 litre supermini would be banned, while a 2011 Veyron would be allowed entry. As of this summer a 1996 1 litre supermini will be banned, a 1997 Diablo will be okay for a little longer. Equalité, mon derrière. The term congestion charge is completely phoney anyway, since it does nothing to solve the gridlock situations nearly all cities face. If every driver of a twelve foot petrol or diesel supermini swapped it for an eighteen foot, zero-rated electric car, then despite motorists complying with what the charge is aiming for, queues would grow longer. And that would be exacerbated by the fleets of tow-trucks pulling out all the ones with flat batteries, because they'd travelled more than thirty miles with the radio on. Anybody who ever owned a mobile 'phone knows how quickly battery life diminishes. But I wonder whether the scheme will survive anyway, there is a history of government backdowns if the French farmers and lorry drivers start to place blockades.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left


10 February 2015
This has the potential to affect large swathes of Paris quite seriously. Until recently, I lived in one of the less salubrious parts north of Montmartre and the percentage of vehicles that will be affected will be... high. And how many of the owners will be able to afford a new car, even with a subsidy? Of course this will also wipe out the use of any 2CV (a lot of which are used for driving tours) and Goddesses, which always raise a smile amongst the modern rubbish. Mind you, if vehicles were banned on driving standards, "camionette blancs" and motos would have been exluded years ago...

10 February 2015
So the war on the motorist refocuses it's sights on the diesel engine and conveniently forgets to tell us the tax on Co2 is and always was a complete scam.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

10 February 2015
If anyone believes this is being done on environmental grounds they are gullible. This is purely a way to boost French car production at a time when their domestic manufacturers are struggling beyond belief.A strength of the French is looking after their self interests.

I'm the opposite of a greenie, but I do actually agree big city air pollution is an issue that should be addressed, but finding a fair way of doing this is of course next to impossible. I can see everyone ending up with an individual carbon quota that they can spend as they like in the future e.g. big house - small car, or small house - big car, etc.

10 February 2015
I like your idea of a carbon quota- but I can imagine a world were everything has a sensor on it. Your CH, oven, dog even one on each of us to see how much gas we are producing/ energy consuming to give an estimate of our carbon output. George Orwell 1984 never had nothing on that.

10 February 2015
All well and good, apart from the fact these bans have nothing to do with carbon.

10 February 2015
I live in the 5e of Paris, and I can assure you that the crappy 20 + year old diesel cars often used here need to be banned. The air quality is shocking, and is poisoning the residents. Why should everyone suffer so some tightwad can roll around in a particulate spewing banger?

10 February 2015
Oh and the fact that the legislation driving the ban also applies to every European city, because of EU regulations on air quality. Which arose becausescience pointed out that these pollutants reduced life expectancy by 5-15 years. Apart from these two minor points, you are totally right! France wants to ban these older cars to drive their car industry! Not sure what big pharma are doing twiddling their thumbs, when they could be promoting polluting cars in town centres so more people get ill and they can have more sales!


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