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Eco-lanes en masse

The French bus and taxi lanes are to be opened to all electric motorbikes in future. The aim is to encourage more people to buy electric vehicles.

A new decree of the French government will allow all electric two-, three- and four-wheelers of category L to drive on bus and taxi lanes in future. This includes not only motorbikes and scooters, but also tricycles and quads that are powered by electricity. With a sticker of category E, these vehicles should thus be given the opportunity to move faster on the little-used bus lanes.

The measure, along with other incentives such as tax breaks and free parking, is intended to boost the switch to e-motorcycles. Indeed, the share of electric motorbikes has been increasing in France in recent years.

However, the decision to implement the scheme is ultimately up to the individual municipalities. If the idea is accepted, it would mean that many eco-lanes would soon be created in many French cities. Currently, eco-lanes are already active in Grenoble and Lyon. However, these are also open to cars with e-stickers and carpools.

The eco-lanes could help traffic flow a little more smoothly on main roads, as the bus and taxi lanes are currently mostly empty. However, the measure is unlikely to bring about a fundamental easing of the situation in the French environmental zones and on main roads, since motorbikes, for example, only account for about 5 per cent, or 21,000 journeys a day in the greater Paris area.

In Germany, the concept of eco-lanes is already on the decline. In Düsseldorf, for example, the eco-lanes are being abolished again because, according to Mayor Stephan Keller, they cause traffic jams and thus increased emissions. He sees the future in intelligent traffic lights that can measure air quality and regulate traffic accordingly. But this idea is still a pipe dream.

It remains to be seen whether eco-lanes for motorbikes will become the norm in France, or whether individual municipalities will decide not to implement them. Due to the many new green zones and a tightening of the rules in many cities in France, motorists across the country are already facing a whole wave of restrictions.

Our Green-Zones app helps you navigate through the chaos of rules in France's temporary and permanent low emission zones.