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Plovdiv was found in an air pollution case against a citizen organisation in June 2021

Plovdiv eyes package of clean air measures

Plovdiv eyes package of clean air measures

The city wants to expand low-emission zones and institute a partial ban on more polluting vehicles

Today, authorities in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, announced a new package of measures they plan to implement and tackle air pollution in the city. The measures include low emission zones which will restrict less carbon-efficient vehicles from certain parts of the city and change the freight loading zones.

Plovdiv has had a longstanding issue with air quality, as the city lost a lawsuit against a civil organisation before the Bulgarian Supreme Court of Cassation back in July 2021. The court ruled that from June 2022 if the city exceeds its pollution threshold, any citizen can file a lawsuit asking for health reimbursements.

Furthermore, at the start of February, mayors from the biggest four cities in the country, Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas met with the minister of the environment Borislav Sandov to discuss an investment mechanism for projects aiming to reduce pollution.

Air quality as a point in traffic policy

Much of the policy changes authorities in Plovdiv are aiming to introduce are about making traffic more efficient. Authorities have said they are currently working on a methodology for the introduction of low-emissions zones.

Plovdiv currently has two zones in the centre and new propositions focus on expanding their borders or the introduction of new zones. At the same time, according to a statement by the BTA, a Bulgarian information agency, they are also considering a ban on freight vehicles in the low-emissions zones.

Another proposal authorities are discussing is to include a so-called ‘green wave’ at 50 kilometres per hour on the most congested roads. A ‘green wave means that a vehicle driving at a constant speed of 50 kilometres per hour can pass multiple junctions without waiting for traffic lights, thus catching successive green lights.

At the same time, officials have proposed live pollution trackers to cordon off certain parts of the city. The pollution trackers would also indicate entry bans on vehicles with a lower emissions class.

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