Updated: 16/11/2012 08:16 | By motoringresearch.com

Paris to ban old cars?

Classic cars may be barred from entering the French capital

Paris to ban old cars?

The Mayor of Paris is planning to ban cars more than 17 years old from entering the French capital in an effort to clean up the city’s high pollution levels.

Proposals were presented yesterday, reports The Daily Telegraph, that would bar old cars, lorries and buses from driving within the French Peripherique ‘ring road’. Motorcycles aged eight years and older would also be barred.

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The plans would come into force in September 2014 and would be tied in with a new car ‘scrappage incentive scheme’ helping buyers trade into newer, greener cars.

But the plans have already courted controversy, with French drivers claiming it would bar poor people from driving in the capital, turning Paris into an ‘island for the rich’.

Others also claim it is not old cars that are causing the problems, but France’s heavy use of diesel. More than 60% of vehicles are diesel powered and, overall, they emit three times as many particulates as petrol cars.

Of the 4.5 million vehicles used in the Paris region, 3% are aged 17 years or older.

The plans are part of French ministers’ desire to turn Paris into a Low Emission Zone by 2015. Cutting pollution levels by 30% would see it escape big fines from Europe.

There’s plenty of evidence supporting the health claims of the new proposals, though. Air pollution causes 43,000 French deaths every year and takes six months off Parisians’ lives.

Here in the UK, of course, we already have a London Congestion Charge that has gradually evolved into a ‘green charge’ over the years: zero emissions and low CO2 cars are incentivised, something London’s Low Emission Zones extend further.

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