Diesel cars set to be banned from Oslo city centre

January 17, 2017

In a precedent for Europe, all diesel cars are to be banned from 6am to 10pm in the centre of the Norwegian capital, Oslo until further notice. The move comes amid increasingly hostile attitudes worldwide to diesel vehicles. 

The city council announced the temporary measure on Sunday night, with diesel cars banned every day until the current high levels of air pollution in the city have cleared. Atmospheric conditions are expected to improve on Thursday. High levels occur when the hills around Oslo are at a higher temperature than Oslo itself, trapping air pollution over the city. Those caught violating the ban will be fined 1,500 kroner (€166). 

European and world cities are hardening their approach to air pollution, with Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City pledging to ban diesel vehicles from 2025. London mayor Sadiq Khan is also beefing up the city’s low emission zones in a move that will increasingly inhibit diesel vehicles. Attitudes have toughened following the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal. FCA is also in discussions with US and Italian authorities over alleged emissions defeat devices in its cars, and French judges are currently investigating Renault over irregularities in its car emissions. 

Today (Tuesday) marks the first time Oslo has used its powers to ban diesel cars from city roads, which it gave itself last year. The ban only applies to city roads, not the national motorways crossing though Oslo. Trucks complying with the latest standard of diesel engines, emergency vehicles as well as diplomatic cars are exempt from the ban. 

Some motorists have expressed anger at the ban, especially since diesel cars were promoted in 2006 as a lower-greenhouse gas alternative to petrol – before the harmful effects of the NOx gases diesel cars release were discovered. 

Oslo argues that exhaust emissions are sometimes so high that children with respiratory problems like asthma, and adults with cardiac illnesses, are advised to minimise time spent outdoors. 

Greens city councillor Lan Marie Nguyen Berg said: ‘In Oslo, we can’t ask children, the elderly, and those suffering from respiratory problems to remain holed up at home because the air is too dangerous to breathe.’






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