Position Paper: Low Emission Zones

The European Commission White Paper “Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system”1 , adopted on 28 March 2011, included a chapter on urban mobility. Announced under initiative 32, the Commission is considering proposing a framework for urban road user charging and access restriction zones, including EU Guidelines on Low Emission Zones (LEZs).

A sustainable urban transport policy needs to meet the economic, social and environmental needs of cities. Sustainability requires a balance between its economic, social and environmental pillars. The importance of transport to urban social and economic structure must have a relevant position in the discussion. Such a balanced approach is the only way to treat complex interrelationships and trade‐offs that are involved in urban transport. The fact that measures to restrict traffic may have economic and social consequences must be weighed into the discussion. Access restriction schemes (ARS) in general, and LEZs in particular, must not hinder mobility by increasing costs. Their implementation has to avoid disrupting businesses, increasing inequalities between city and suburban residents, singles and families, resident and non‐resident.

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