A new environmental zone in force since early this year in Rotterdam has halved the number of severely polluting cars entering the city in just one month.
Every day up to 700 000 vehicles enter Rotterdam, of which 1.18 per cent (some 13 000 cars) were older models whose emissions were considered to be extremely harmful.
From 1 January 2016 the Dutch city announced that such vehicles would be banned from entering. Since then, the number of dirtier cars in the city has dropped to 0.66 per cent.
The exclusion of these vehicles cuts emissions of soot by between 20 and 30 per cent, the city calculates.
There is currently no penalty for violating the ban. However, from 1 May drivers flouting the new rules will be hit with a €90 fine.
City spokesperson Pex Langenberg said that the results were pleasing. But he also reminded citizens to take advantage of the car-scrapping scheme to get rid of their dirty vehicles once and for all.
Rotterdam is offering a subsidy of between €1 000 – €2 500 for citizens to scrap their old vehicles, and an additional subsidy if they go on to buy an electric car.
For more information, visit gezonderelucht.nl.