Revised plan Air pollution control for Bonn without diesel driving ban

Bonn · The district government of Cologne has revised the clean air plan for the city of Bonn. Authorities no longer see any reason to enforce diesel driving bans on Reuterstraße and Belderberg.

In November, a Cologne court ruled that both Cologne and Bonn would have to impose diesel bans on older vehicles in order to improve air quality. But the state of North Rhine-Westphalia is challenging the ruling before a higher court, which means the case will be retried in July, and no diesel driving bans will be implemented for April 1, 2019 as previously threatened.

Engineers who were contracted by the city administration came to the conclusion that a diesel driving ban would result in cars having to drive an extra 170,000 kilometers each day to circumvent the restricted zones. It would mainly affect the street Bonner Talweg where the number of vehicles passing through would rise from 17,000 to 20,000 on a daily basis. A part of Wittelsbacherring and Endenicher Straße would also have been affected.

Retrofitting to reduce pollution

The retrofitting of buses from the Bonn Public Works (SWB) and Rhine-Sieg Transportation Authority (RSVG) with SCRT filters is intended to reduce nitrogen oxide pollution at the Belderberg road. This will happen in both 2019 and 2020. RSVG will put new buses with Euro-Norm 6 into service this year. A further 29 buses will be retrofitted. "Once these measures have been completed, RSVG will only use Euro-Norm 6 buses on the Belderberg road, with a few exceptions," reads the Clean Air Plan. The climate ticket, available since December, has made it possible for new subscribers to use public transport in Bonn for 365 euros a year, which also relieves traffic. By the beginning of February, around 3,000 tickets had been sold. Nextbike's rental bike system is also designed to encourage motorists to leave their cars at home.

Whether the new air pollution control plan will stand up in court, however, will only be resolved in the proceedings in July. "Skepticism remains", says Rolf Beu, chairman of the Green parliamentary group in the regional council of the district government. The revised plan is mainly based on the retrofitting of bus fleets. Reuterstrasse will remain the main thoroughfare for commuters in the future. And it is questionable as to whether cheaper fares for only passengers living in Bonn makes sense, not only from a legal standpoint.

Bonn's Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan says: "We see our attitude and our efforts towards clean air reaffirmed, as the air pollution control plan still does not include any driving bans." Orig. text: Nicolas Ottersbach Translation: Carol Kloeppel

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