26 Oct 17

One portal tracks all restrictions on urban traffic in Europe

City bans on polluting traffic are trending up; but each city is making up the rules for itself,  making it hard to get an overview. Fortunately, a website sheds (some) light on the matter.

UrbanAccessRegulations.eu is “the only central Portal for all you need for all low emission zones, congestion charging and other Access Regulations in Europe”, its landing page says. 

Clickable map
The site provides an overview of urban access regulation schemes via a clickable map, has background information on various aspects of the topic, and breaks news on the latest developments in the field. 

For example, here's some info on the latest restrictions on urban access in three European capitals – London, Oslo and Rome. 

On 23 October, the so-called T-charge went into effect in London. The T-charge (as in: T for 'toxicity'), also known as the Emissions Surcharge, applies to diesel and petrol vehicles that do not meet the Euro 4 emissions standards for NOx (nitrogen oxide) and PM (particulate matter). 

These vehicles will be charged an additional £10 (€11.2) to enter the Central London Congestion Charge zone – on top of the standard congestion charge. This measure will remain in effect until the introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London in April 2019.

Vehicle checker
In the framework of London's ever-stricter measures against air pollution, London mayor Sadiq Khan has urged Londoners looking to buy a new(er) car to check the real-world emissions of the model they are thinking of acquiring. 

While the Euro standards have generally resulted in cleaner vehicles over the years, some vehicles are not as clean as others. The mayoral website includes a Newer Vehicle Checker, showing real-world emissions or recent car models. 

In other capitals as well, the fight against air pollution is entering a prohibitive phase. Norway's capital Oslo has implemented a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) from 1 October.  The principle: the more polluting your car, the more you pay. Oslo's congestion charge differentiates by Euro standard, fuel type, time of driving, distance driven, and whether or not you have an AutoPASS.

Oslo also has an emergency scheme in cases of high pollution. The long-term plan is for Oslo to remove cars from the city centre altogether by 2019 and improve the quality of the area. This is being done by removing parking spaces and making room for cycling and public spaces.

Meanwhile, Rome is banning all cars on specific Sundays. The government of the Italian capital has recently announced the dates for the next four of these 'ecological Sundays': 19 November, 17 December, 21 January and 11 February. 

On each of these days, access to the city will be prohibited for all vehicles between 7:30 and 12:30, and again from 16:30 to 20:30. 

Image: Shutterstock, Urban Access Regulations

Authored by: Frank Jacobs