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Consequences of court decision: Why the driving bans in Bonn will be expensive

Consequences of court decision : Why the driving bans in Bonn will be expensive

It may become expensive for consumers in future. The driving bans on Reuterstraße and Belderberg will also affect companies - and thus indirectly their customers. Small traders in particular are struggling to deal with the situation.

Jürgen Brustkern has a roofing company in Bad Godesberg and drives his Mercedes white van along Reuterstraße every day, sometimes several times - the street where, according to a court ruling, there will be driving bans from April next year for diesel vehicles with engines up to Euro 5 and petrol engines with classes Euro 1 and 2.

"In theory, I'd have to raise my prices," Brustkern explains. He would have to bypass Reuterstrasse in the future and the journeys would take longer, something which costs time and money. However, he is unsure whether he can actually do this with his customers in mind. Only one thing is certain: he cannot buy a new car. He feels the same way as many other small traders.

Armin Klein, owner and manager of the Elmar Klein bakery in Bornheim, would have to pay 60,000 euros for a new car. He needs special cars with cooling elements and special dimensions. He has a total of three cars which he uses to supply his eleven stores. Some of these are also in Bonn. "You already get stuck in traffic jams in Bonn anyway," explains Klein. But things will not be too bad for him because his Bonn stores are located in the north of the city; he doesn't drive regularly along the Reuterstraße.

Reliant on Reuterstraße

It’s another story for Thomas Radermacher from the District Trader's Association, who has a joinery in Meckenheim with 15 employees and constantly has to drive to Bonn's Südstadt, but also to Dottendorf, Kessenich and Gronau: "50 percent of my customers live in these districts," explains the district master trader. "How am I supposed to get there in the future? The answer would probably be to take the back roads. "Then the emissions will just be distributed elsewhere." He also suspects that the driving ban will affect his prices in the future: "We'll have to recalculate", thinks Radermacher, who has five vehicles for his business - all diesel. "You'd have to invest a lot of money in buying new cars."

On the other hand, a lot of orders will take more time in the future if he has to drive through the narrow streets in residential areas. Either way, it would probably be more expensive for his customers. But Radermacher emphasises that he is not the only one affected: it concerns all traders who bring their services to the customer, including electricians, roofers, painters and companies in the food trade. "There is great bafflement and bewilderment in the trade," he says, summing up the mood.

The owner of the Bonn bakery Rott also relies on Reuterstrasse: "I can't really stop driving along the Reuterstrasse," he says. If this were no longer possible due to the driving ban, he would have to make detours to the right and left of the street.

Fewer problems for large companies

However, he is off the hook, as he explains: the leasing contracts for his fleet have expired and he has fortunately just ordered new cars. The six new cars to supply his 21 branches will probably be available this year. However, as deputy district master trader he also knows that many bakers cannot afford to buy new cars. In the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg region there are a total of 63 bakeries.

The bigger companies will probably have fewer problems. Deutsche Telekom's fleet will be exchanged in annual cycles of three to a maximum of five years. This means that most vehicles are no more than three years old, some up to five years. When purchasing new vehicles, attention is always paid to the latest diesel technology, which is why almost all vehicles are equipped with Euro 6, explains press spokesman Peter Kespohl. Exceptions to this are a few special vehicles, for which you would have to ask the city for a special permit on a daily basis, if necessary.

The situation is similar at the Deutsche Post. Upon GA’s request, the Bonn-based DAX Group advised that the majority of its conventional vehicles (including company and business vehicles) comply with Euro 5 and 6 standards.

(Original text: Nadine Klees, Nicole Garten-Dölle, Translation: Caroline Payne)