Zero emissions in the city centre: a small but important step towards a healthier city

Eindhoven will create a zero-emission zone for trucks and delivery vehicles within the ring road from 1 January 2025. From then on, only electric trucks and delivery trucks will be allowed to drive in this area. Eindhoven is not alone, 30 other cities are also creating zero emission zones. There is a delay for older diesel cars (with Euroclass 4 and below). You are still allowed to drive on the ring road for now as the House of Commons still needs to work out the laws and regulations. Once things are good with the central government, we will still introduce the low emission zone.

Already in 2020, the city council decided to introduce this zero emission zone by January 1, 2025. This is necessary for a sustainable and healthy city center with clean air, lessCO2 and very green.

Although mobility is not within my remit, I welcome this step. We don’t usually see dirty air, but it’s there. In fact, the air quality in Eindhoven needs to be further improved.

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We have been measuring air quality at 33 locations in Eindhoven since 2010. Because we are measuring at so many locations and the measurements are made over a longer period of time, we have a good picture of air quality. Measured values ​​may vary greatly by season and season due to specific weather conditions. Therefore, we can only see over a longer period of time whether the measures actually improve air quality. Measurements show that air quality has improved since the beginning in 2010 and, fortunately, meets European standards. Unfortunately, this does not mean that the air is healthy. This is why we aim to achieve the WHO air quality standard by 2030.

However, many of the things that make the air unhealthy are beyond our control as a community. Think of the dirty air from industry in the Ruhr region or the emissions from cars driving on the motorways around Eindhoven. We also have no effect on the industrial emissions of neighboring farms.

The move to create a zero-emissions zone for trucks and delivery vehicles within the Ring Road may seem like a drop in the ocean, but these are buttons we as a community can turn.

If you have a nice old van that has been converted into a motorhome, or if you own a small business and live on the ring road, of course you will be annoyed by this decision. Therefore, there will be transitional regulations at national level for existing vehicles. There are also exemptions, exemptions and subsidies. Consider a nationwide purchase bonus for electric trucks and vans and a regulation on the purchase of a new zero-emission truck.

But I am convinced that all small steps have a big impact. With a zero-emission zone inside the ring road for trucks and delivery vehicles, we are taking another step towards a healthier Eindhoven.

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