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by Tim Beissmann

Classic French cars like the Citroen DS, the Peugeot 205 and the Renault 4 will all be banned from the streets of Paris within two years if the city’s mayor has his way.

Socialist Party mayor Bertrand Delanoe proposed a plan to the city council on Monday that would see cars produced before 1997 banned from the city centre by September 2014.

The proposal would also outlaw pre-1996 trucks and delivery vehicles from travelling inside the A86 motorway that surrounds Paris, as well as all motorcycles that are more than 10 years old.

Delanoe told Reuters he was targeting the removal of the “most polluting and noisiest” vehicles from the capital.

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

UMP Federation opposition leader Philippe Goujon told the Telegraph in the UK the proposal was “antisocial, anti-suburban and anti-motorist”.

The plan would reportedly force roughly 365,000 cars out of Paris, around three per cent of the city’s fleet.

Delanoe has been a strong campaigner for removing cars from the city since being elected mayor in 2001, introducing trams, bus and bike lanes, and a bicycle rental program, and has turned some streets along the banks of the Seine into pedestrian walkways.