In shift, Germany now eyes limited bans on diesel cars: report

The German government, which has steadfastly opposed bans on heavily-polluting diesel cars in cities, now plans legal changes that would allow driving bans on certain routes on an emergency basis, the Rheinische Post newspaper reported on Saturday. Transportation State Secretary Norbert Barthle, a conservative, disclosed the change of approach in a reply to a parliamentary query by the pro-environment Greens party, the newspaper said. News of the shift comes days before a German court rules on whether cities can implement driving bans that could lower the resale value of up to 15 million vehicles in Europe’s largest car market, forcing car-makers to pay for modifications. Germany’s federal government is under pressure to help 70 cities whose emissions violate EU standards. “A new legal basis is to be established in the road traffic act that would allow … driving bans or restrictions on certain limited limited routes to protect human health against particulates or emissions (nitrogen oxide),” Barthle said in the reply. “That would make possible for the first time route-limited, emergency measures to protect against particulates,” he said, adding that the changes would make it possible for cities to implement driving bans outside of air pollution plans. He said the changes could be incorporated in revisions now being prepared to provide parking privileges to vehicles operated by car-sharing services, and the entire package of measures could be finalised by the end of the year. Chancellor Angela Merkel said this month she wanted to avoid driving bans by focusing on switching… [Read full story]


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