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Paris could ban old bangers in pollution crackdown

Vehicles produced before 1997 could be banned from Paris under plans to reduce air pollution in the French capital. French classics like the Citroen DS and 2CV wouldn’t be allowed inside the A86 autoroute, the equivalent of London’s M25, if proposals talked up by Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe came into effect.

"This is for our citizens,” said Monsieur Delanoe. “It's a public health battle and we've been fighting since 2001 to try and make the air here more breathable.”

The rule, which could be in place by 2014, would also forbid trucks and buses built before 1996 and motorcycles produced as recently as 2001 from entering the city.

Around 365,000 cars would be affected, the Paris Town Hall estimates.

Class crunch

Although the proposal idea would clean up the air in the capital, it has been criticised for punishing less wealthy Parisians who have little choice but drive an older vehicle.

Claude Fauconnier, vice-president of the French Friends of the 2CV Club, condemned it as "another hare-brained idea" to win the support of wealthy greenies.

He told Reuters: "If you're driving a 17-year-old car, there's usually a reason and it's certainly not for fun.

“It's often people struggling to make ends meet at the end of month and they're the ones who can't afford a modern car."

Various other measures being considering include cutting the speed limit on the Paris ring road or introducing a congestion charge.

If the proposal came to fruition, the next stage would introducing a London-esque Low Emission Zone in 2015.

Banning dirty old bangers from busy cities isn’t a new thing. The Indian city of Calcutta became the first when it banned cars older than 15 years off its roads in 2008.

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John Simpson

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1 comment

Alex Kovnat

> Although the proposal idea would
> clean up the air in the capital,
> it has been criticised for
> punishing less wealthy Parisians
> who have little choice but drive
> an older vehicle.

About the best I can suggest here, is for France to institute a "cash for clunkers" program, whereby people willing to participate would be paid far more than their old clunker is worth, provided they are willing to purchase a more modern car with better emission controls.

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