The Polish capital, Warsaw, has committed to taking older, dirtier cars off its roads in order to improve the city's air quality. The Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, has announced the introduction of a ‘clean transport zone’ that will start in 2024.
The zone will cover the central Śródmieście district, as well as parts of adjacent districts. Initially, the zone will see a ban on diesel cars of more than 18 years old, so those that meet Euro 3 emission standards or older, and on petrol cars that are more than 27 years old, so those that meet Euro 1 standards or older. The restrictions will become increasingly tighter as a 5-step plan will see the banning of all diesel cars older than 12 years by 2032 and of all petrol cars older than 17 years. From 2032, only diesel cars meeting Euro 6d and petrol cars meeting Euro 6 will be able to enter the city's clean transport zone.
Estimates have suggested that this move will see a reduction in the emission of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 80% and a drop of particulate matter loads by 69% by 2032. Levels of particulate matter, in particular, are expected to drop quickly with today’s figures expected to be already halved by 2026.
Mayor Trzaskowski tweeted “Clean air in Warsaw is our common aim. That is what we strive for as a local government. That is what Varsovians expect of us.” According to the Mayor, around 87% of Warsaw's inhabitants want the city to take action to improve its poor air quality, and 3 out of 4 directly support the idea of a clean transport zone.
Warsaw is the second city in Poland to publish its plans for a low emission zone (LEZ) in recent months. Last November, Krakow announced its own plans and Wroclaw intends to start consultations on introducing an LEZ this spring.
Article published first at Notes from Poland on 26 January 2023.
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