There are Low Emission Zones in ten cities in the UK. The eleventh low emission zone will be added in Portsmouth at the beginning of November 2021. However, most low emission zones do not apply to passenger cars. In fact, in most cities the restrictions only apply to city buses.
When comparing the fines for traffic offenders in Europe, it is striking how little one actually has to pay in Germany. This also applies to unauthorised entry into environmental zones or other closed roads. In the past, there was even a point in Flensburg for this, but this has been abolished in the meantime, as the road safety of road users is not considered to be at risk. Nevertheless, the question arises as to the efficiency of environmental zones when, firstly, there are hardly any checks and, secondly, fines are rarely collected.
Austria's current climate plan will not be enough to meet the EU targets by 2030 and thus reduce CO2 emissions by 7 percent. Now it is being discussed whether the rules of the environmental zones should be tightened. Then, for example, only trucks with a registration from 2020 would be allowed in Tyrol. But that will not be enough to combat air pollution. One solution would be to extend the rules to other vehicle classes such as passenger cars.
It was a shock for Leipzig taxi drivers and a harbinger of things to come for the taxi industry: in mid-October, the city of Leipzig announced the goal of converting the city's taxi fleet completely to electric or at least hybrid by 2025. The quick fix backfired, but it shows what we can expect in the near future.
Berlin's air has been sung about, but that was a long time ago. And back then it was far from dirty. But there is reason for hope. As has now been measured, it has never been so clean since measurements began in 1975. New limits, however, could prove to be a challenge.
Today, Tuesday, driving bans are in force on the Brenner motorway in Austria and Italy. In Austria the holiday driving ban applies, in Italy they want to avoid traffic jams.
From today, Monday 25/10/2021, the Ultra-Low Emission Zone in London is significantly expanded. London has a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) and an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
In France there are both permanent and temporary environmental zones. The temporary zones are only activated when pollution levels are particularly high. They are called air protection zones (Zones de Protection de L'Air = ZPA). As with permanent zones, you have to stick the appropriate sticker on your windscreen for temporary zones. When temporary zones are activated, the rules of "differentiated traffic" come into force, in French "circulation différenciée".
When natural gas is extracted and processed, a lot of escaping gas is burnt. This releases more CO2 into the air than the C02 emissions produced by all cars in the EU.
Dirty company cars are being subsidised too much, complain the Öko-Institut in Freiburg and the think tank Agora Verkehrswende. According to the institutes' calculations, the subsidies paid by German taxpayers for privately used company cars amount to up to six billion euros annually. Since it is mainly fuel-guzzlers with high engine power that are purchased by companies for their employees, this unnecessarily complicates the transport transition.