Urban Vehicle Access Regulations

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Urban vehicle access regulations (UVARs) is a form of traffic management that regulates access in specific urban locations according to vehicle type, age, emissions category – or other factors such as time of day, or day of the week. UVARs can include Low Emission Zones (LEZs) and/ or Congestion Charging and involve a wide range of considerations in implementation.

Urban vehicle access regulations are becoming an increasingly popular method of managing vehicle flows through urban areas.    

By Claus Köllinger / Updated: 20 Jan 2020

Spain is planning low emission zones for all towns with over 50,000 residents

All towns in Spain with more than 50,000 inhabitants would have to set up low emission zones, if the plans of the largest party in Spain are put in place. While negotiations about a possible coalition are ongoing, the plans are timed to come into effect with the formal installation in power of the new government.

By Claus Köllinger / Updated: 09 Dec 2019

Barcelona plans for low emission zone by giving out free public transport cards

From the start of 2020, the Spanish city of Barcelona and its adjacent municipalities, will ban the most polluting vehicles from their roads on weekdays between 7.00 and 20.00. This will affect around 50,000 cars and motorbikes whose owners would face heavy fines if they are caught using their vehicle on the area's roads.

By Hannah Figg / Updated: 12 Dec 2019

New call for tender – ‘User-friendly Information Tool on Urban and Regional Vehicle Access Regulation Schemes’

In light of the rapid development of UVARs in the EU, an information tool is considered by the European Parliament to be a useful instrument for people travelling within the EU.

Consequently, DG MOVE has announced a new preparatory action with the general objective to foster the real-time information of road users about urban and regional access schemes.

The specific objective of this tender is to:

By Ella Andrew / Updated: 27 Nov 2019

Berlin implements new diesel restrictions

Berlin has implemented the first of seven planned diesel restrictions, in an attempt to manage its nitrogen dioxide emissions.

The city follows action by other cities in Germany, Hamburg and Darmstadt, which have implemented low emission zones to facilitate compliance with nitrogen dioxide limits. It is likely that additional cities in Germany will implement low emission zones to tackle nitrogen dioxide exceedances. 

By Michiel Modijefsky / Updated: 27 Nov 2019

Warsaw announces mobility measures to improve air quality

Authorities in the city of Warsaw recently revealed a broad range of measures in a drive to improve the city's air quality. The measures were announced by the Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, during the Warsaw Climate Conference last month.

According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), in 2018, Warsaw ranked as one of the EU capitals with the highest air pollution levels. More than 400,000 premature deaths in the EU I n 2018 resulted from air pollution according to another recent EEA study. 

By Claus Köllinger / Updated: 18 Nov 2019
By Raffaele Vergnani / Updated: 06 Nov 2019

Bucharest takes action to ban and tax cars to improve air quality

The General Council of Bucharest voted on Thursday 23 October for Mayor Gabriela Firea's plan to introduce a special tax on cars circulating in the Romanian capital that do not comply with Euro 5 pollution standards. The special tax is called the 'Oxygen vignette'.

By Hannah Figg / Updated: 04 Nov 2019

London’s ULEZ cuts NO2 pollution by a third

Since its introduction in April 2019, London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has cut nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution by a third. Quarterly averages from roadside monitors in the UK capital show that levels have fallen by 36% in six months, from 89µg/m3 (January to March) to 57 µg/m3 (July to September).

A report on the zone’s first six months, published by London's City Hall, highlights some more encouraging results in terms of reducing air pollution, namely:

By Claus Köllinger / Updated: 14 Oct 2019
By Benjamin Baxter / Updated: 16 Sep 2019

Bucharest plans to restrict most polluting cars in 2020

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.