Paris and Brussels have revealed they will limit the entry of cars into their city centers, with the Brussels car ban coming into effect as early as August this year. The Belgian capital’s “low traffic zone” will favor pedestrians and cyclists with some public transport.
Meanwhile, Paris will introduce a “quiet zone” which bans cars in its historic center from 2024.
The two car bans are further signs that the world’s major cities are moving faster than expected to reduce emissions.
London’s ULEZ zone has grown in the past year and Sadiq Khan aims to expand it further to all boroughs.
And Oxford this month became the first city to become a ‘zero emissions zone’ with all charged cars entering.
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Paris, meanwhile, will subject most of its historic center to strict zoning laws from 2024.
Private vehicles will be banned in favor of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport with some allowances granted to traders.
The objective is to “reduce the volume and speed of motorized vehicles on the territory to facilitate and secure travel on foot and by bicycle”.
While technology is being put in place to enforce the laws, random checks will be carried out by the police.
In the UK this week, Birmingham said it would ban all vehicles from certain areas.
Birmingham City Council has announced plans for its Car Free School Street scheme which gets children to school safely.
Drivers face a £50 fine for breaking the rules at 17 different school sites across the city.
Birmingham City Council’s Director of Travel Demand, Peter Edwards, said: “The continued expansion of car-free school streets across Birmingham is particularly beneficial for children.
And last month Berlin in Germany revealed plans to become the world’s largest car-free urban space.
Campaign group Berlin Autofrei has proposed a law to limit the use of private cars on the Ringbahn train line in the German capital, an area of 34 square miles.
If successful, the law would limit the use of vehicles to people with special exemptions, such as delivery vehicles, emergency services or people with disabilities.
Residents would only be allowed to use a car or van up to 12 times a year, for special circumstances such as moving house.