PARIS (AFP) – The mayor of Paris on Sunday laid out a plan to limit cars in the city’s historic centre and said she wanted to ban diesel vehicles by 2020.
“In the four central districts, apart from bikes, buses and taxis, the only vehicles allowed will be residents’ cars, delivery vehicles and emergency vehicles,” Anne Hidalgo said in an interview with the Jour-nal du Dimanche weekly.
Hidalgo said the proposed anti-pollution scheme would start at weekends but could be “quickly” rolled out for the rest of the week.
“I want diesel cars out of Paris by 2020 and if possible beyond the peripherique,” said the mayor, referring to the constantly choked ring road around the capital.
“Today, 60 per cent of Parisians don’t have their own car whereas in 2011, it was 40 per cent. It’s moving quickly,” she said.
Central Paris has a relatively high popu-lation density in European terms and tou-rists are often surprised by the traffic levels in and around the historic sights of the world’s most visited city.
The city also experiences periodic pol-lution spikes forcing authorities to impose temporary speed limits on motorists and even to ban vehicles from running on cer-tain days.
Hidalgo said she wanted to limit the traffic on some of the most polluted streets – like the iconic but traffic clogged Champs-Elysees – to “clean vehicles”.
As an “experimental” measure, she sug-gested allowing only ultra-low emitting cars on these major thoroughfares.