Amsterdam, other European cities look to ban certain cars: What to know

People pick up tulips at the National Tulip Day on the Dam, Amsterdam, on January 19, 2019. – The event is the official start of the international tulip season which runs until the end of April. (Photo by Robin Utrecht / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUTROBIN UTRECHT/AFP/Getty Images ORG XMIT: 68977227 ORIG FILE ID: AFP_1CE2EI (Photo: ROBIN UTRECHT, AFP/Getty Images)

The Amsterdam City Council announced plans last week to ban all gasoline- and diesel-powered cars and motorcycles from the city by 2030, in an effort to combat air pollution. While it isn’t close to being one of the most polluted cities in the world, the city’s traffic councillor, Sharon Dijksma, told Reuters that “pollution is one of the greatest health hazards in Amsterdam.”

The first step in the program, to be implemented next year, is the banning of diesel cars built before 2005. Subsidies and parking permits will be granted in an effort to encourage people to switch to cleaner (presumably electric-powered) vehicles.

The Dutch capital is hardly the only major city to address the issue of vehicle-generated air pollution. As of January 1 this year, Barcelona banned cars manufactured before 1997 on weekdays, a measure expected to reduce emissions by 30% over the next 15 years.

In London, where congestion pricing has charged all drivers for entering a portion of the city center since 2003, a new Ultra Low Emissions Zone went into effect in April, adding a $16.40 (£12.50) tariff for pre-2006 gasoline-powered cars and pre-2015 diesel-fueled autos entering the congestion area, while diesel trucks and buses will have to pay $131.30 (£100).

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