The Environment

Paris Makes All Public Transport Free in Battle Against ‘Worst Pollution in 10 Years’

...and bans all cars with an even number plate from the city

Paris has made all public transport in the city free for a second day running as the French capital reacts to a pollution alert issued around the city.

The temporary measures put in place only allow cars with odd-numbered licence plates to use the roads – those with even numbers were allowed the same privilege on Tuesday 6 December – as the city battles its worst and most consistent winter pollution levels for the past 10 years.

Those caught driving their car on days they are not allowed will be fined up to 35 euro it is reported, with more than 1700 fined on Tuesday for driving cars with an odd-numbered licence plate.

Hybrid and electric cars are also allowed to continue using the roads in Paris, which is geared out intermittently with chargers for such vehicles.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has said that the city must reduce vehicle use after images emerged of smog covering Paris, caused by the combination of emissions from vehicles, domestic wood fires and near windless conditions in the city.

Karine Leger of AirParif told AFP: “This is a record period [of pollution] for the last 10 years.”

The masses of people who have been using the trailine as a result of the changes has caused significant delays on certain lines though – with the RER B commuter line said to have been delayed so severely that it was still struggling on Wednesday morning.

Services were also suspended at Gare du Nord, one of the central train hubs in Paris, after a power cut on Wednesday.

This kind of action recalls that taken in Beijing to counter ‘red-alert’ levels of smog by the Chinese authorities.

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