In order to avoid diesel driving bans, the city on the Main is introducing a 40 km/h speed zone in the entire city centre. If this does not have any effect, unpopular driving bans may be imposed in the middle of next year.
Yesterday, the new clean air plan in Frankfurt am Main came into force. It provides for the introduction of diesel driving bans from July if nitrogen dioxide limits continue to be exceeded. Until then, the city will reduce the speed limit to 40 km/h. On some streets, the speed limit applies. The speed limit has already been in force on some roads for a few weeks. From 1 January 2021, the entire inner city area within the Anlagenring, as well as heavily trafficked roads on which the limit value was previously exceeded, will be affected.
If the speed limit has no effect, diesel driving bans will be introduced from July at the earliest. However, these will not cover large parts of the city area, as previously planned. Instead, smaller zones within the Anlagenring and some stretches in the districts of Höchst, Riederwald and on parts of Mainzer Landstraße would prohibit entry for older diesel vehicles. In addition, exemptions and transitional solutions for residents and tradesmen would be planned, so that mainly through traffic would be affected by the bans. A lifting of the bans would also be possible after a short period of time if limit values can be met even without the bans.
The new clean air plan also includes the expansion of cycle paths and public transport. These aspects had been mentioned by citizens and associations in response to the plan, which could be viewed before it came into force. However, only 21 comments were received by the city in response to the plan.
How nitrogen oxide pollution will develop in the coming year is uncertain. Nitrogen oxide readings have been lower recently, but this could also be related to the Corona pandemic. The city has set up six more measuring stations to get a better picture of pollution trends. Should traffic increase again in the coming months, the speed-40 measure might not have enough effect. Then the looming diesel driving bans would be unavoidable.
You can see all diesel driving bans and environmental zones in Germany in the Green-Zones app. Of course, you can find out whether the speed reduction in Frankfurt is successful in our blog.