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In its ongoing bid to combat an increasing smog problem, French capital Paris will ban all cars registered before 1997 from its city center during weekdays.

The plan to ban older cars is expected to come into effect from July, following a 2014 proposal by the city’s Socialist Party mayor, Bertrand Delanoe.

According to French newspaper Le Monde, all cars registered before 1997 and motorcycles registered before 2000 will be banned from the city center during weekdays.

The new ban comes after several attempts to reduce vehicle pollution, including car-free days, closing famous streets to traffic, and even allocating specific days motorists could drive into the city determined by whether they had odd or even number plates.

citroen-ds

Above: Iconic cars like the Citroen DS of the late 1950’s to mid-1970’s will be banned from the Paris CBD under the new laws

Those strategies, and this latest move, are in response to the city’s growing pollution levels and smog problem. Air quality in the French capital is one of the worst in Europe, at one point eclipsing Shanghai’s smog levels.

Further to the new legislation, which takes effect on July 1, the long-term goal is that no cars over ten-years-old will be found on the streets of Paris. By the year 2020, all cars driving in the city will need to have been built after 2011.

While pre-1997 cars don’t necessarily make up a large amount of vehicles on Paris’ roads (only around ten per cent according to website Gizmodo), these older models could potentially contribute up to half of the city’s emissions.

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Above: Newer, cleaner burning vehicles like the Peugeot 208 will still be permitted in the French capital

Another solution implemented by Parisian authorities is the ban on diesel engines in larger vehicles such as trucks, which produce highly-toxic NOx emissions. France has already confirmed plans to reduce the number of diesel cars on its roads, due to NOx emissions which contribute to smog and acid rain.

One issue with the new bans is the fact that historic cars – of which France has many – are not exempt from the new legislation. However, there are reports of an exemption for collectable classic cars that are over 30-years-old, considering the long line of iconic French historic vehicles such as the Citroen DS and Renault 4.

In an effort to make alternative commuting methods more attractive, Paris has announced a rollout of 1000 Cityscoot electric scooters, which will reduce congestion on the roads, lower emissions and remove the need to find a parking space in such a densely populated city.

MORE: France news




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