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France's environmental zones are delayed

When the law on climate and its resilience ("Loi Climat et Résilience") was passed in France on 22 August 2021, many were sure that several low emission zones would be created in France this year. But with one month to go before the end of the year, there are still no low emission zones in many places. In part, there are nothing more than bureaucratic reasons for this.

In Toulouse, such a zone was to be created as early as September. The appropriate signs for it had already been erected, the only thing missing was the signature of the three mayors of the municipalities concerned. But the law that has been adopted in the meantime requires the signature of the prefect of the Toulouse conurbation.  To this end, the decree introducing the low emission zone must be rewritten, because the text still refers to the three mayors. With someone else's signature, the text would be an easy meal for the opponents of the zone and could quickly be challenged on grounds of formal defects. And so Toulouse continues to wait for an environmental zone.

The same goes for Montpellier. Here, too, it has been announced for months that a permanent low emission zone will be introduced by the end of this year. Motorists have already been urged to get a French environmental badge so that they will be prepared when the zone -- eventually -- comes into force.

In France's second largest city, the new city council is delaying the introduction of an environmental zone. The introduction of the low emission zone in Marseille, originally planned for the end of the year, has been postponed for six months to give the population time to adjust. The zone should not be perceived as a punishment by those who cannot afford to buy a new car so quickly. The republican party LR accuses the mayor of postponing the zone unnecessarily, although the air pollution in the port city is considerable, not least because of the many ships in the port.

The introduction of an environmental zone is also proving difficult in Nice. The thoroughfare Boulevard des Anglais has the status of a main road that cannot be closed to certain vehicles without further ado. The prerequisite would be the downgrading of the road. This would only work if at the same time a bypass road north of the city is no longer payable and the heavy trucks and buses would thus have an alternative to driving through the city. Whether an environmental zone is actually introduced on this one Nice Road on 1 January 2022 depends largely on whether the status of the road can be changed.

When all the bureaucratic obstacles have been overcome and the environmental zones will finally be introduced, you will of course find out in the Green Zones app.