The measure for better air, controversial in Germany, is becoming increasingly popular in France. Grenoble has had the country's first eco-lane since October. The lane in Lyon has been active since yesterday.
Eco-lanes are supposed to be an incentive for electric cars and carpooling, thus reducing traffic and making it cleaner. Grenoble has had them since October. The eco-lane in Lyon opened yesterday.
The lane, which runs for a total of eight kilometres at the entrance to Grenoble, is only activated when a certain traffic load is reached. Just like in Lyon, a white light signal in the form of a rhombus then appears, signalling that the lane is active. Three kilometres before the start of the lane, all vehicles are photographed. If there is only one person on board a vehicle, a message appears above the lane that the lane must be changed. The control is ultimately carried out by the police, who impose a fine of 135€ for violations.
The concept of eco-lanes is primarily intended to regulate commuter traffic into city centres and lead to more people carpooling or create incentives for electric cars, which are also allowed to use the lane with the Crit'Air-E badge. However, as reported yesterday, eco-lanes are becoming increasingly unpopular in Germany. Düsseldorf, for example, is abolishing the three special lanes again, as the concept does not seem to work and creates more congestion on other lanes. In addition, car pools were allowed to use the Düsseldorf eco-lanes at the beginning, but this is no longer the case - contrary to the actual idea of the eco-lane.
In countries like the USA, Canada and the UK, eco-lanes have been in use for a long time. So how can it be that politicians and experts in Europe do not agree on whether the measure makes sense? What is clear is that a back-and-forth like the one in Düsseldorf wastes taxpayers' money without improving air quality or calming traffic.
To find out whether the eco-lanes in France are more successful than in Germany and how the German eco-lanes are progressing, visit our website. You will soon be able to take a closer look at the eco-lanes in France in our Green-Zones app.