Environmental zones and environmental tracks are currently hanging like a sword of Damocles over several municipalities and cities in Germany. After the displeasure about the three already installed environmental tracks is growing in Düsseldorf, last week the representatives of the cities of Bonn and Dortmund reached an out-of-court (for the time being) agreement with Deutsche Umwelthilfe in Münster, Westphalia.
Following the increasing discontent about the three already established Eco Lanes in Düsseldorf, the representatives of the cities of Bonn and Dortmund reached an out-of-court settlement with the German Association for the Environment (DUH - Deutsche Umwelthilfe) in Münster last week. A week passed between the settlement and public communication on the outcome of the talks between the parties: in the tug of war over the impeding driving bans, the parties had agreed not to disclose anything. The reason for this secrecy remains unclear to this day.
It is now more than obvious that the German courts have lost their patience when it comes to lax compliance with environmental regulations and clean air plans. To the layman the situation seems confusing: every week there are new applications, decisions, driving ban zones and new legal actions of the German Association for the Environment.
The outcome for Dortmund was announced on 22.01, over a week after the actual settlement in Münster.
So, for the time being, there will be no diesel driving bans on a large scale in Dortmund. However, the city in the Ruhr area and the Land of NRW agreed with DUH on the establishment of an Eco Lane and a strict and all-encompassing ban on trucks on the B1 federal road.
Has Dortmund done itself a favour with the introduction of an Eco Lane? In Düsseldorf the anger about the existing lanes is boiling over every day.
In addition to Dortmund, Bonn (sentencing on 23.01.2020) is getting away with reprisals and several blue eyes. Only several 30 km/h zones and bike commuter routes will be introduced.