Hamburg has begun putting up diesel ban signage after ruling from Germany's highest court declares that older, more polluting cars can be banned from city centres

Hamburg authorities have announced that a ban of diesel cars of the Euro-5 standard and older will take place from the end of the month. City officials erected signage last week for its ban on diesel vehicles in certain areas of the city, as the country's air quality measures and backlash against diesel steps up a notch. 

Officials from the north German city were awaiting a court ruling as to whether they could ban cars up to and including Euro 5 diesels, or extend to pre-Euro-6 cars (pre-2014). The less strict ban will be implemented.

The ban will come into effect on 31 May, with around 100 signs already in place directing older diesels away from two streets in the city, suggesting alternative routes. Critics suggest that this may be counter-intuitive, forcing older, dirtier diesels to drive further in the city centre to get to their destination.

The news comes after the European Commission announced it would be referring Germany, the UK and several other EU member states to the Court of Justice over lax air quality measures.

City councils in Germany were granted the right to legally ban diesel vehicles from their centres, following a new ruling by the country’s Federal Administrative Court in February.

Stuttgart and Düsseldorf were given permission by the country’s highest court to prevent older, higher-polluting models from driving into certain areas, opening the door for other cities to take action of their own to cut emissions.

Like the UK, Germany is facing a growing urban nitrogen oxide pollution problem that has been linked to the dominance of diesel cars on its roads. Last year, around 70 of the country’s cities exceed EU limits for NOx.

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Volkswagen boss: German city diesel ban is 'scary and unnecessary'

The German Government opposes the banning of vehicles from city centres because of the impact it can have on economic productivity and lower-income drivers, who are more likely to use older vehicles.

Germany’s tough stance against diesel comes in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal, which came to light in 2015 when Volkswagen was found to be using emissions test cheat software. It has been one of Europe’s most outspoken countries on the subject. 

Several UK councils have also pushed for a more heavy-handed approach to emissions regulation. Oxford has proposed a combustion engine ban from its centre from 2020, while London (pictured above) recently introduced a T-Charge for the most toxic of vehicles.

This anti-diesel stance has caused sales of oil-burners to tumble, plummeting by 25% in the UK in January compared with the same month last year.

Manufacturers have begun withdrawing diesel models from their line-ups as demand shrinks, with Porsche removing its last two current diesel cars from sale earlier this year.

Although environmental activists have celebrated this change, new Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders figures show that CO2 figures are now on the up as people switch from diesel to petrol cars.

The average new car last year emitted 121g/km of CO2, up from 120.1g/km in 2016, meaning the impact the average car tailpipe has on global warming has grown for the first time in two decades.

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Comments
15

27 February 2018

...and humans in Germany.

 

You couldn't make it up.

Steam cars are due a revival.

27 February 2018
A great decision which will hopefully encourage our government to do something too.

27 February 2018

It's not so simple it seems. There is apparently a word in there suggesting it has to be commensurate/proportional. It was on the radio here of course. German law offices are probably all popping champagne corks at the thought of business to come. 

27 February 2018

Ok the CO2 is up, but you don't get lung fibrosis and carcinoma from CO2 like you can from NO2! IMHO the commercials including buses are far more to blame than cars.

 

Madmac

28 February 2018
madmac wrote:

Ok the CO2 is up, but you don't get lung fibrosis and carcinoma from CO2 like you can from NO2! IMHO the commercials including buses are far more to blame than cars.

Nor can you get skin cancer from NO2 like you can from the Co2 which is a greenhouse gas that attacks the ozone layer, nor will you be able to drive your EV anywhere as the roads will be flooded due to rising sea levels.

No one problem is better than the other.

 

18 May 2018
scotty5 wrote:

madmac wrote:

Ok the CO2 is up, but you don't get lung fibrosis and carcinoma from CO2 like you can from NO2! IMHO the commercials including buses are far more to blame than cars.

Nor can you get skin cancer from NO2 like you can from the Co2 which is a greenhouse gas that attacks the ozone layer, nor will you be able to drive your EV anywhere as the roads will be flooded due to rising sea levels.

No one problem is better than the other.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas, yes, but it does not attack the ozone layer - you're getting it mixed up with CFC's. In fact, some scientists think that the increased levels of CO2 are actually speeding up the repair of the ozone layer.

Of course, I'm not saying increased CO2 levels are good, just clearing up some misinformation.

27 February 2018

The SMMT figures are bogus and really tell us little about the real world. With a new testing regime now agreed, Autocar really should stop replicating their PR without challenge or context.

18 May 2018

Could you not find any pictures of Hamburg.  Nice picture of the Olympic Park though. Shame it is in Munich.

18 May 2018

I have no doubt that all those sea ships which run on the lowest grade diesel are responsible for more air pollution than diesel cars are.

23 May 2018

But there's no real alternative with ships at the moment, there is with cars especially with diesel supermini's etc 

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

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