Warsaw street traffic, Source: Depositphotos

Warsaw will inaugurate a ‘low emissions zone’ on 1 July

Warsaw will inaugurate a ‘low emissions zone’ on 1 July

This kind of urban planning policy is surprisingly still a rarity in Eastern European cities

‘Clean Transport Zone’: this will be the name of a new low-emissions zone for vehicles that will be established in the central area of Warsaw from 1 July. This will make it the first such in all of Poland and one of the first in all of Eastern Europe. The aim of the zone is to ban older and more polluting vehicles from driving in the downtown area.

More specifically, this will initially apply to diesel cars that are over 18 years old and petrol cars that are over 27 years old. According to the city officials, this represents around 3% of the private vehicles circulating the Polish capital’s streets currently.

Adaptation in stages

This restriction, however, will be temporary before progressively getting more restrictive to include more and more polluting vehicles.

Those thresholds will be gradually lowered in the next stages of the project to ban even younger cars. Eventually, by 2032, diesel cars over 11 years old and petrol cars over 17 years old will be banned.

The City claims that these restrictions will result in the reduction of nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 11% and particulate matter (PM) by 20% at the beginning of the next decade.

Those residing in Warsaw and paying taxes in the capital will be exempt from meeting the requirements of the zone in the first two stages of its introduction, meaning until January 2028. This means that initially, the restrictions will apply to out-of-town visitors, thus the adaptation will happen quite gradually.

The ‘Clean Transport Zone’ (Strafa Czystego Transportu) will cover an area of 37 square kilometres, which is 7% of the Polish capital. It includes the entire Śródmieście district at the heart of Warsaw, as well as parts of the adjacent Wola, Ochota, Saska Kępa, Grochów and Praga neighbourhoods.

The city administration will install cameras at the perimeter of the zone which will take snapshots of the licence plates in order to determine whether the vehicles are allowed to drive within the zone.



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