Posted on 20-11-2012
Filed Under (Industry News) by Chloe Davies

In a move that sounds about as sensible and useful as lowering the national speed limit to improve traffic flow or introducing a congestion charge to lower traffic volumes in a major city, the mayor of Paris wants to turn the city and its surrounding areas into a clean-air zone by banning all vehicles older than 17 years.

Paris mayor, Bertrand Delanoe, is set to introduce plans that ban all pre-1997 cars from the city’s streets by 2014, according to a Reuters report. Naturally, the plans have angered classic car fans, whose vehicles it is claimed only make up only 3% of the vehicles on Parisian roads. The benefit of banning these classics would be minimal from an environmental point of view.

Citroen 2CV

More importantly, however, it will create a void for those who are simply unable to afford anything newer than the old car they currently own. The mayor of Paris has also previously championed initiatives like Paris’s bike-sharing scheme and a partner scheme of the ‘Autolib’ electric car sharing service. The latest scheme has been defended by the mayor who says “it is for our citizens – it’s a public health battle and we’ve been fighting since 2001 to try and make the air here more breathable.”

Others say Delanoe has launched this proposition to the French government as a measure to avoid being fined due to excessive air pollution by the European Commission. If approved, not only cars, but heavy commercial vehicles that are over 18 years old and two-wheelers over 10 years old, will be banned as well.

Citroen 2CV

As an incentive to get people out of their old cars, Delanoe promises to offer those who trade in an old car a free three-month pass to the EV sharing program. The government also wants to implement a ‘cash-for-clunkers’ program to re-invigorate the local motor industry. There we have it, some honesty at last. Consider this a scheme then to get Parisians buying Renaults, Peugeots and Citroens again. Maybe government meddling is the only way it’s actually going to happen.

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