The mayor of Paris has laid out a plan for diesel cars to be banned from the French capital by 2020 to reduce air pollution.

A partial ban was imposed in March 2014 after the capital’s air quality was found to be the worst on record. Anne Hidalgo has now said she wants only ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) including battery electric and plug-in hybrid models on the capitals’ main routes.

In addition to an increase in ULEVs, the plan would see parts of central Paris reducing private car use by introducing semi-pedestrianised zones. Vehicle use inside these zones would be limited to the cars of residents, and emergency and delivery vehicles. Buses, taxis and bicycles would not be affected.

Anne Hidalgo said: “The measure is clear: I want an end to diesel in Paris in 2020, if possible beyond the périphérique,” the traffic-clogged ringroad. She also plans to ban lorries from crossing Paris unless they have business in the city.”

The partial ban introduced earlier in 2014 brought in alternate driving days to tackle a pollution spikes earlier this year, but Hidalgo said she wants a complete ban on the dirtiest vehicles.

The mayor recognised the change could mean hardship for some drivers, who have turned to diesel as it’s cheaper than petrol. She said financial incentives would be available for the purchase of more environmentally friendly cars.

Around 80 per cent of the cars on French roads are diesel-powered, and latest stats reveal 65 per cent of new cars sold so far in 2014 were diesel.

From February 2015, France will start applying stickers to vehicles emitting the most pollution: diesel cars more than 13 years old will get a red sticker.

Guardian, BBC

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