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24 Jul 2019, 14:11
Benjamin Wehrmann

Berlin restricts diesel on some roads and sets speed limits to tackle air pollution

rbb24

The government of the federal state of Berlin has decided to ban older diesel cars from eight roads in the city and create dozens of zones with a 30 kilometre per hour speed limit, public broadcaster rbb24 reports. The diesel bans will come into force in September on roads with a total length of just under three kilometres. Residents, delivery services, mobile nursing services and tradespeople will be exempt from the ban. Environmental Action Germany (DUH), which has taken German cities to court to force them to ban diesel cars, said a “patchwork” of roads with diesel bans was not enough, and called for a comprehensive solution for the whole city. Business associations, meanwhile called the new measures “excessive”, since nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution levels were only slightly above the legal limit. Police union GdP was also critical, saying the Berlin force didn’t have capacity to enforce the ban. “We don’t think stopping cars all the time will be conducive to reducing CO2 levels,” a GdP spokesperson added. 

Several German cities were forced to impose diesel bans on certain roads, after a court ruled it necessary to cut air pollution, which exceeds EU limits in nearly 60 German cities, according to the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). Leading German politicians have pledged to avoid bans, which some scientists say are ineffective. But a separate German court has ruled that state governments must retain diesel bans in their clean air plans.

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