Monday, August 6, 2018

Air Quality Bans Affect Road Haulage Freight and Tourists Alike

Temporary Restrictions Apply to European Routes
Shipping News Feature
FRANCE – ITALY – SWITZERLAND – Just as half the continent sees families heading out on holiday so the problem of poor air quality is impacting on tourists and others wishing to drive on many of the most popular routes including road haulage outfits with freight payloads. Paris, Strasbourg, Lyon, Annecy and Isère (Alpine region, Grenoble) are all tourist areas which have seen vehicles travelling without the Crit'Air environmental badge and with Crit'Air Class 5, and in some cases Class 4, banned from driving.

Since July 2017, vehicles must be equipped with the Crit’Air badge, which is necessary for accessing the constantly ever widening French environmental zones. The Crit’Air badge, available in 6 colours, distinguishes older from newer vehicles and it shall also gradually exclude EURO emission standards 0 to 5 from a growing list of cities.

In France, temporary air protection zones now exist, where driving bans are only imposed within the environmental zones if air pollution is particularly high. This is the case is currently and, after many weeks of increased air pollution values, the government has now acted and declared driving bans in many parts of France.

Tourists as well as commercial drivers should be cautious and keep themselves informed as high penalties are likely to be imposed in the event of non-compliance. If you do not have the required badge, it may be better to leave the vehicle if feasible or drive around the environmental zones. However, anyone who has a badge marked 3, 2, 1 or E may continue to drive.

The temporary, or ZPA zones, differ from the permanent ZPR zones for which restrictions permanently apply. The full details for each temporary (ZPA) zone can be seen from these links, Paris, Grenoble, Lille, Strasbourg, Lyon and Toulouse. The permanent (ZPR) links can be viewed here, Paris, Grenoble, Lille and Strasbourg.