Paris to Impose Bans on Air Pollution
Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, has won a battle to introduce traffic bans to Paris when air pollution hit dangerous levels.
Ecology Minister Segolene Royal conceded that plans for traffic bans should be implemented when air pollution levels peak, rather than after three consecutive days of high air pollution. Royal announced on Monday plans to introduce alternate driving days for vehicles that have a licence plate that ends with either an even or odd number.
Air Pollution Ban in Paris
Less than half of those living in Paris are car owners, but due to the inner city being densely built up, air pollution levels usually sky-rocket. Inner Paris is well-served by buses, the Metro and taxis alike, but the transport options for those living in the suburbs is less reliable and are subject to overcrowding during peak hours.
Meanwhile in London, community groups have surveyed nine areas and found that eight of them breached EU limits for nitrogen dioxide in the air. Those areas include Marylebone, Soho, Walthamstow, Brentford, Haringey and Ham. Groups used kits to measure the amount of nitrogen dioxide in the air, and the highest reading was on Marylebone Road, central London. Readings on Marylebone Road were nearly four times the EU limit and measured at 145 micrograms of NO2 per cubic metre of air. Shaftsbury Avenue came second and 119 micrograms of NO2 were measured per cubic metre of air. Public Health England suggest that around 3,000 people die every year due to air pollution in the capital, which makes it the second highest cause of death after smoking.
Steps have been made to combat the high air pollution levels in the capital. There have been calls to ban diesel cars in London and also ban all vehicles from entering particularly polluted and busy parts of London such as Oxford Street. Also 2020 sees the introduction of the Ultra Law Emission Zone (ULEZ) which will restrict access to central London to low and zero emission vehicles only.
Image c/o Clay Gilliland