Paris car use restrictions
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  1. #1
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    Default Paris car use restrictions

    i think this has been presaged on a previous occasion, but seems to have been suddenly put into place.


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    THE INDEPENDENT
    Paris, 17 March
    Half the diesel and petrol cars in greater Paris will be banned from the roads of the French capital today in an attempt to reduce the health-threatening cloud of polluted air which has settled on northern France.
    From 5am, only odd-numbered cars will be allowed to drive in the Île-de-France region, in which Paris sits, unless they have electric or hybrid motors. Taxis, buses, emergency vehicles and cars carrying three people or more are exempted. All trucks are banned. The restrictions will apply to even-numbered cars on Tuesday, unless the weather changes. Foreign vehicles must also obey the rules.

    Since last Wednesday, a run of warm, windless days and cold clear nights has kept a lid of warm air over northern France. Minuscule particles of pollution from car exhausts, industry and agriculture have accumulated under that lid to dangerous levels.

    The pollution is largely invisible and certainly not the `smogs' or pea-souper fogs of the kind which existed up to the 1970s. Paris enjoyed bright sunshine throughout the weekend.

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    There was, in fact, almost a carnival atmosphere. All underground and suburban trains and buses were free to try to keep cars off the road. A slight breeze reduced pollution on Saturday and Sunday.
    Nonetheless, the level of official `pollution alert' — 80 microgrammes of tiny particles for every cubic metre of air — is likely to be exceeded again tomorrow as the wind drops.
    The government decided on Saturday night to impose regulations, which have not been triggered since 1997, on `alternate' use of cars.

    Motorists' organisations complained that this was an overreaction and would cause enormous hardship to commuters. The government said that it had no choice. Marisol Touraine, the French Health Minister, said: `Pollution is a public health issue. We were obliged to take tough action.'
    France is especially vulnerable to this kind of pollution because it is 60 per cent dependent on diesel cars. In the 1960s, France made a strategic decision that diesel engines were less polluting and would gradually supercede petrol.

    The French car giants Renault and Peugeot Citroën invested heavily in diesel engines and diesel fuel was taxed less heavily than petrol. It still is. For nearly two decades, France has been aware that this was a mistake.
    Diesel engines are, in fact, more polluting, not less. Fumes from diesel cars, industrial emissions and agricultural fertilisers, are blamed for increasing micro-particles in French atmosphere to dangerous levels. Successive governments have shied away from increasing taxes on the diesel fuel which is used by two out of three motorists, and therefore voters.

    According to one study, there are 40,000 premature or unnecessary deaths in France each year because of the high level of atmospheric pollution. Other experts insist the scare has been exaggerated.
    French lung specialist Professor Jean-Philippe Derenne said: ‘In 50 years, I have never come across anyone who died from air pollution. Between those people who smoke two
    packets of cigarettes a day and those people who walk in the streets of Paris,there is not the beginnings of a comparison.’

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    In the past when this has been tried, it encourages the retention of older cars, which increases parking demand. Once one owns two cars with odd and even registration the restriction just means that you drive your best car on alternate days and pollute with an old banger with the appropriate registration on the other.
    The manufacturers got the message several years ago and switched to a model line up with high efficiency petrol engines in the smaller cars, where diesel pollution is not cost effective and have refined the design of the larger diesels to remove their difficulties with particulate emissions.
    The Paris politics has some curious motivations.
    There is a positive development though, the on street bike and car rental is being supplemented by the on street rental of electic scooters.
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    1000+ Posts Mike Tippett's Avatar
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    I have been in Paris when the air has been like that. Brutal! So much for the FAP.

    I will be in France several times this summer and hope the air is clean when I am in Paris!
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    From Alexanders post:

    "France made a strategic decision that diesel engines were less polluting and would gradually supercede petrol............
    For nearly two decades, France has been aware that this was a mistake."

    Who wrote this
    ? They obviously don't consider the enormous number of vehicles on French roads to be the problem!

    I think this guy is on the right track!

    "French lung specialist Professor Jean-Philippe Derenne said: ‘In 50 years, I have never come across anyone who died from air pollution. Between those people who smoke two
    packets of cigarettes a day and those people who walk in the streets of Paris,there is not the beginnings of a comparison."
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Pollution Spikes Send Europe Scrambling for Emission Controls
    Paris instituted a temporary ban on half the city's cars in a bid to curb smog

    Mar 19, 2014 |By Christina Reed and ClimateWire


    Credit: Allainalele/Flickr
    PARIS -- After a week of escalating actions to try to curb a pollution crisis, culminating with a temporary ban Monday of nearly half the city's cars, Paris is again breathing easy.
    Minister of Ecology Philippe Martin said late Monday that 90 percent of Parisian drivers followed the rules, which allowed for only cars with odd-numbered license plates to drive around Paris and its outlying suburbs. "Bravo, and thank you," Martin said while announcing that the restrictions, which the ministry originally considered continuing through yesterday with even-numbered cars, would end Monday night.

    The move was an inconvenience for many drivers and a money-loser for some businesses, such as filling stations, but the bright side was clearer air and profits for a few companies as commuters strove for alternatives. Autolib, the electric car sharing service in Paris, saw a 60 percent increase in new subscribers last week, reported spokeswoman Laëtitia Fevry. On Friday, the Parisian Velib, a citywide public bike rental program, saw 130 percent greater demand than usual.
    Other cities across Western Europe, however, are still struggling with high levels of pollution. The greatest concern over the last week has been with the rising levels of particulate matter of less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10), which can cause reduced visibility, environmental damage including accelerating some impacts of climate change, and significant respiratory distress. These fine suspended particulates "are capable of penetrating deep into the respiratory tract and causing significant health damage," the World Bank reports.

    Near-real-time air quality maps showed Antwerp, Belgium, reached PM10 levels of 99 micrograms per cubic meter between 4 and 5 a.m. yesterday. The European Environment Agency classifies all PM10 values above 65 as "very high."
    Across the region, spikes in levels are fluctuating dramatically. Near Geneva, initial reports of PM10 concentrations showed levels as high as 310.8 between 4 and 6 p.m. Monday.
    In Stockerau, Austria, PM10 levels reached 372 between noon and 1 p.m. Saturday, fell during the weekend, then spiked again to 310 between noon and 1 p.m. Monday.

    Incentives for electric vehicles
    The move to reduce emissions began in Paris on March 11 with regulations to allow for free residential parking, followed by free public transportation and discounts and free time on the use of bike and electric car sharing programs. On Friday, however, the industrial sector of Paris, La Defense, saw PM10 levels of 165.
    The World Bank reports that, in 2009 and 2010, the average annual exposure level of PM10 in France was 12; the United States' level, for comparison, was 18 during this time and China's was 59.

    Most particulate matter pollution originates from diesel trucks and cars, wood stoves, and power plants. But the particles themselves can be a combination of many different components, including sulfates, nitrates, organic carbon, elemental carbon, soil dust and even sea salt.

    When high emissions couple with certain weather conditions, such as the weeklong stable front that brought warm, sunny days and clear, cool nights across much of Western Europe, pollution can accumulate to dangerous levels. Higher temperatures can increase the oxidation rates of these compounds in the lower atmosphere, allowing for a greater buildup of oxidants.
    While short-term efforts to curb emissions and increase use of public transportation can help improve conditions while waiting for the weather to change, ultimately rain and wind are needed to disperse the pollution and bring atmospheric concentrations back to their average levels. But that such high spikes have been seen across Western Europe during this recent stable weather brings into focus the long-term consequences of fossil fuel subsidies.

    Disincentives for diesel fuel?
    In a study on the taxation of diesel cars in Belgium, authors Inge Mayeres and Stef Proost of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven found that CO2 emissions are reduced, but in a very cost-inefficient way.
    "We find that diesel cars are still taxed much less than gasoline cars, resulting in a dominant market share for diesel cars in the car stock," the authors reported last year in the journal Energy Policy.

    "If the fuel tax is the main instrument to control for externalities and generate revenues, the diesel excise should be much higher than the excise on gasoline for two reasons: diesel is more polluting than gasoline and more importantly, through the better fuel efficiency, diesel cars contribute less fiscal revenues per mile."

    Alternatively, in this year's April issue of the journal, a study on the long-term climate policy implications of phasing out fossil fuel subsidies argues that changes in taxation need to go hand in hand with strong, dedicated climate policies.
    "Most remarkably we find that a removal of fossil fuel subsidies, if not complemented by other policies, can slow down a global transition towards a renewable based energy system," report Valeria Jana Schwanitz and colleagues at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.
    "The reason is that world market prices for fossil fuels may drop due to a removal of subsidies. Thus, low carbon alternatives would encounter comparative disadvantages."

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    Yes if you were a Parisian you'd think either a hybrid (Prius type) or perhaps full electric would be the way to go especially if you mainly drove in Paris. We rented a Smart one day when in Paris, just for 24 hours. Out to Versailles for lunch and the afternoon, around Paris at night. Got horribly lost south of the Seine. Perhaps like London we should have stayed north of the river!

    cheers John

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    From Alexanders last post: I've highlighted the bits I thought encapsulated the bureaucratic idiocy of the EU.

    "If the fuel tax is the main instrument to control for externalities and generate revenues, the diesel excise should be much higher than the excise on gasoline for two reasons: diesel is more polluting than gasoline and more importantly, through the better fuel efficiency, diesel cars contribute less fiscal revenues per mile."

    You can't argue with that kind of logic!
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Quote Originally Posted by J'aime la vie View Post
    Perhaps like London we should have stayed north of the river!

    cheers John
    i must say, i quite liked south london. a bit gritty, but pretty cool, and loads of potential.

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    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    And yet diesels are still being marketed at "efficient and clean"

    Thank goodness for euro 6.

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    The local elections look like doubling the number of Green councillors in Paris to 18, following their agreement with the Socialists.
    Soon, the only way of circulating in Paris will be by pedal rickshaw propelled by vegetarians.
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    at least that is a fitting fate for vegetarians.

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    But not for passengers. Diesels fart behind them.
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    1000+ Posts Mike Tippett's Avatar
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    Driving in Paris is not a lot of fun anyway, no great loss. I have done it dozens of times. I will be taking a brand new RCZ into Paris this July.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Tippett View Post
    Driving in Paris is not a lot of fun anyway, no great loss. I have done it dozens of times. I will be taking a brand new RCZ into Paris this July.
    Driving OUT of Paris is far more fun, because it means you've arrived at "George de Gruel" Airport (thanks XM Driver), have picked up your TT car and are off on another Euro adventure!
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