Access restrictions in cities

Today the European Commission published the 2010 report on access restrictions for European cities. Today 417 cities apply access restrictions for different vehicles. Two third of the cities have introduced access restrictions the last 10 years while one third have had them for more than 10 years.

Read the report here.


There are a lot of reasons to restrict the access to cities, such as:


-exclude high emitters to improve the air quality


-improve the traffic flow and avoid congestion issues


-reduce noise


The restrictions are set into force by different instruments such as:


-Local access zones based on emission class or vehicle class


-Parking restrictions


-Road tolls


-Times slots for access for different vehicles


The report suggest ten actions for EU to realise


1, To develop a harmonising guidance for cities. (My experience is that guidance will not be sufficient. To realise harmonisation mandatory rules are required. I.e. If you want to introduce access restrictions, here are the alternatives that you are allowed to use…)


2, To actively promote a standardised nomenclature for signals, symbols and in general.


3, To require Member States to explicitly include all legal provisions behind access restriction measures in the national Road Codes.


4, To require that the Euro class is explicitly mentioned in the national vehicle papers.


5, To establish standardised rules for verification and certification of retrofit equipment.


6, To issue guidance on the recommended best practise for the assessment of access restrictions.


7, To provide a comprehensive information resource with updated information on assess restrictions.


8, To establish a permanent advisory group to regularly review the development of access restrictions in Europe.


9, Fund the development of large scale access restriction demonstrators to generate high quality impact data.


10, Consider the gradual introduction of stricter EURO standards as an alternative to access restrictions for older vehicles.


What the immediate outcome will be is still to early to say.


About volvobuses

Adjunct Professor of Catalysis at Chalmers University of Technology. Lives in Gothenburg, Sweden, with my wife and three daughters born in 1991, 1994 and 1997. Is a passionate runner.
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