Paris has recently banned all cars registered before 1997 from the city, but will London follow suit?
Under the new law aimed at reducing smog, as well as traffic issues in the centre, cars produced before 1997 are now banned from the city centre during weekdays, as will all motorcycles registered before 1999.
The new ban was proposed last year as part of plans to reduce pollution in the capital – newer, more stricter, policies are set to be introduced in the coming years. At present around 10% of cars are expected to be affected, with the ban expected to extend to cars registered before 2010, by 2020. Cars will be classified into six different categories and will have to present a sticker in the window-screen representing that classification, to make it easier when imposing a fine.
Many European countries have expressed interest in reducing the pollution of vehicles in more built up areas such as cities. Berlin was the very first city to implement a ban on older cars, almost five years ago now. In 2015, cars were kicked out of Milan completely, while every second vehicle is now banned in Rome.
According to The Express, figures stand at around 10,000 London resident deaths each year, which is due to long-term exposure of pollution in the air. The publication also revealed that a recent survey of Londoners revealed 63% were all for a ban on cars in the centre, while 58% supported a once-a-month restriction.
Rosalind Readhead, who recently ran for Mayor of London but lost out to Sadiq Khan, was campaigning for action in the capital before the smog reached critical levels. Her manifesto detailed a four-year plan in which cars could be banned from the capital, starting with non-local vehicles. Apparently the congestion charge, which was introduced back in 2003, hasn’t put enough motorists off driving into the capital.
Alongside the centre ban of older vehicles, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has introduced a number of changes in a bid to reduce smog in the city. These changes includes banning cars from the Champs-Elysees on the first Sunday of each month, as well as creating more pedestrian zones at major traffic points along the Seine river.
Whether London or other major cities will adopt a “ban cars” policy remains to be seen. Officials are unable to confirm whether this is definitely on the cards or not, but despite manufacturers constantly manufacturing new technology to meet the ever-changing, ever-stricter, EU guidelines in terms of emissions, older cars are still gradually being phased out… just very, very, slowly. So, maybe a ban on older cars wouldn’t be such a bad thing? Or at least a ban that follows a structure and points system, such as the previously mentioned French policy, much like the way we classify electric vehicles to work out what grant they’re entitled to.