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Mobility organisation calls for delay on diesel vehicle ban in Brussels

Illustration picture shows a traffic sign signalling the beginning of the 'low emission zone' in Brussels, (BELGA PHOTO THIERRY ROGE)
08:47 01/12/2021

The mobility organisation Touring has called on the Brussels government to delay its plan to prevent diesel vehicles entering the Capital Region’s low emission zone (LEZ) by a year. Vehicles meeting the Euro-4 standard are due to be sanctioned from 1 January 2022 but Touring wants the measures to come into force in 2023 to give people more time to recover from the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic.

"This measure will affect 35,000 Brussels households, and some 560,000 car owners from other regions will no longer be able to enter the capital, under penalty of an insane fine of 350 euros," a statement from Touring said.

While Touring acknowledges that newer vehicles are cleaner, it believes that "the ban on Euro-4 diesels comes at a particularly difficult time. The health crisis is making the cost of living much more expensive. Few citizens can afford to buy another vehicle."

According to Touring, a delay “would give citizens time to find another vehicle according to the household budget, or to reorganise their needs and mobility habits."

"Next year, Euro-4 diesel vehicles will become unusable and practically worthless,” the mobility organisation added. “And that's not all: many new cars are unavailable – due to production and supply problems caused by the health crisis – which has increased the pressure on the second-hand market."

The low-emission zone was launched in the Brussels-Capital Region in January 2018, and according to a governmental report published last year, it has since reduced transport-related pollution and contributed to improving air quality.

 

Written by Nick Amies