The Mayor of Bucharest, Gabriela Firea, has announced a project which plans to severely restrict access to central Bucharest for polluting cars. The project plans to introduce a tax on cars registered outside of Bucharest and Ilfov county when entering the capital.
The restrictions will cover non-Euro, Euro I and Euro II cars, irrespective of which county they are registered in. Euro III cars will become exempt from the ban only after purchasing an Oxygen-C (centre) e-vignette at a price of RON 75 per month or RON 900 per year. The city centre will be accessible to Euro IV, Euro V and Euro VI cars, as well as hybrid and electric cars.
For vehicles registered outside Bucharest and Ilfov county, drivers will be required to purchase an Oxygen-B (Bucharest) e-vignette to gain access to the capital, at a cost RON 10 RON per day or RON 1,900 per year.
The mayor of Bucharest explained that 'the most important factor of pollution is the suffocating car traffic, and the number of cars is increasing exponentially. 1.6 million cars are registered in the Bucharest-Ilfov area. These measures may seem harsh at first, but they are insufficient for the level of pollution. […] Bucharest has reached an undesirable place 6 in the top of the most polluted cities in Europe, and Romania has been in infringement procedure since 2011'. Around 20% of the vehicles in the Bucharest-Ilfov area will no longer have access to the city centre.
Any non-compliance with the new measures will result in a fine of up to RON 2,000. Emergency vehicles are exempt from all new restrictions.
The project will be open for public debate until the end of September 2019, at which time it will be submitted for approval by the General Council of Bucharest. If successful, the measures outlined above will be introduced in January 2020.
Article first published by Romania-Insider.com on 14th August 2019
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