Peripherique speed limit cut. Air quality or road safety?

When plans to reduce the Paris ring road speed limit first surfaced in February it was about air quality. Now it’s about road safety.

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Boulevard de Peripherique, Paris. Not sure how they are going to buy this little lot. Interchange with A3 at Porte de Bagnolet.

Boulevard de Peripherique, Paris. Not sure how they are going to bury this little lot. Interchange with A3 at Porte de Bagnolet.

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Ecology minister Delphine Batho first proposed reducing the speed limit on the Peripherqiue Paris ring road in February in response to a European Commission crackdown on air pollution.

The limit would be cut from 80kmh to 70kmh ‘before the summer’.

At the same time, she announced new Low Emission Zones (LEZ) for towns across the country from 2015.

However, Ms Batho was fired in June before she could put any of these plans into action, apparently after criticising government spending cuts.

Then on Thursday 11 July, interior minister Manuel Valls revived the Peripherique speed limit cut as the next stage in ambitious plans to improve road safety.

So far, so politics, though it’s hard to think of a more blatant example of policy re-engineering, in any country (if you know of one please let us know).

Ultimately though it begs the question: why are the authorities so desperate to cut the speed limit on the Peripherique?

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