Stuttgart is the latest city to introduce traffic restrictions to combat pollution – albeit voluntary, for now – despite already being covered by a ‘low emission zone’ .
Also, a snowy sunrise at the Nurburgring. Wrong-way tragedy in Scotland. Shooting drama on the Antwerp ring road.
After recent similar measures in Paris, Madrid, Milan, Naples and Rome, Stuttgart in southwest Germany is the latest city to try traffic restrictions to reduce air pollution.
Until at least Wednesday, and probably much longer, the city is on alert for particulate matter.
Commuters are advised to leave their cars at home today, and residents are also being asked not to use ‘comfort fires’, i.e. those not essential for home heating.
Mayor Fritz Kuhn said on Saturday, ‘The issue of air pollution affects us all, and everyone, whether Stuttgarter motorists or commuters from the region, can play their part. I therefore appeal to citizen’s sense of responsibility. From Monday, because of the fine dust alarm, look for eco-friendly mobility alternatives to protect the Stuttgarter air, and to protect their own health. “
A statement on the city website says the measures will be made binding for fires from 2017, and for cars from 2018, if the current voluntary regime not successful.
‘Motor city’ Stuttgart – home to Porsche and Mercedes-Benz – is reputedly the dirtiest city in Germany thanks to lying in a geographic ‘bowl’ where pollution collects. The situation has been exacerbated by low winds in recent days.
Like many other places in the country, Stuttgart already has a LEZ Low Emission Zone – known as an Umweltzone or Green Zone – which covers the entire city area, bordered to the south by the A8 autobahn and marked by white circle signs with a red border.
All drivers entering the zone, including those from abroad, need to apply for an Umweltplakette sticker, at a cost of €30, to certify their vehicle emissions.
According to UrbanAccessRegulations.eu, since 1 January 2012 only green sticker vehicles are allowed which means Euro 2 onwards for petrol and Euro 4 onwards for diesel.
roundup: SCOTLAND. A Danish tourist who seriously injured another driver in a head-on crash after driving on the wrong side of the road has been fined £8000. The 50-year old former Ebay executive has also been banned from driving for four and a half years according to STV and will have to pass an extended test to drive in the UK again. He is the first person to be convicted of the new offence of causing injury through dangerous driving. The injured woman has only just returned to work after the incident in January 2015. BELGIUM. Drama on the Antwerp R1 ring road when police fired at a suspect car on Saturday night. The vehicle was picked up on number plate-recognition cameras but, when challenged, the driver accelerated away forcing police to shoot out the tyres (remember this is you are ever tempted to do a runner). No injuries were reported by FlandersNews.be though ‘equipment which could be used in a burglary’ was found in the boot.