Arnhem is also tackling green surrealism: the environmental zone is coming

Environmental zone
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From next year, Arnhem will be the city with the strictest environmental zone for passenger cars in the Netherlands. Diesel cars from before 2004 are no longer allowed to enter the center of the Gelderland capital and diesel cars from before 2006 only if they meet certain European requirements. The Green Left applauds, but a good foundation for this decision can be doubted.

A majority of the city council agreed last night with a motion from GroenLinks to introduce the environmental zone. That must be a fact on 1 January 2019. The introduction of environmental zones has been in the news for some years, as well as the lack of effect that these measures have. In addition, an increasing trend is developing. This shows that environmental zones must be regulated nationally. The introduction - on a national scale - of car-free zones is also increasingly mentioned. In addition, the Coalition Agreement contains a passage from which it appears that the government wants to regulate environmental zones on the basis of uniform national rules instead of local principles.


In Arnhem it appears to be insensitive to the lack of effect. In the Gelderland capital, the greens assume a precedent. "We hope that Arnhem will serve as an example for other cities," says GreenLinks initiator Cathelijne Bouwkamp and Omroep Gelderland. Responsible alderman Geert Ritsema called the introduction of the environmental zone "a victory for common sense". It is really inconceivable that "common sense" in combination with non-working and money-wasting environmental zones is mentioned.

Year of construction more important than actual emissions

In the meantime, no account is taken of the fact that an Audi Q7 TDI from 2008 generates far more emissions with equal use than a Citroën Xsara 2.0 HDI from 2001 or a VW Lupo TDI 3L from 2002. On the basis of the theoretical emission standards, the Audi in that case shows higher emission values, let alone in practice. Unfortunately, that phenomenon remains unnamed. This also applies to the additional emissions of nitrogen dioxides through the use of soot filters on diesels that left the factory tire after 2006. Common sense apparently abandoned the responsible alderman in that regard.

Small group of cars

According to the municipality's calculations, some 800 older diesels are driving around in the capital of Gelderland. By keeping this small group of outdated cars out of the center, the emission of soot particles would decrease by more than 17 percent. Particulate matter would decrease by 10 percent. It is unclear how this measurement was made, but it is clear that theoretical emission figures are often taken as the starting point, both with regard to permitted traffic and with regard to banned traffic. It gives a completely distorted image.

Increasingly embraced

The city council in Arnhem seems to have tackled environmental surrealism and the time pressure associated with the upcoming elections. In Gelderland, too, the small proportion of old-timers and young-timers in the total (diesel) passenger car file is not considered. Nevertheless, it is precisely this category that is excluded because of old theoretical values. They are vehicles with a valid MOT inspection, for which, as a rule, MRB is also paid. They are not admitted within a relatively small area, where visitors and residents are mainly confronted with polluted air from outside the environmental zone limits.


An environmental zone is outdated but is embraced more and more intensively. The outcome in Arnhem is another proof that citizens and politicians have proved sensitive to incorrectly substantiated propaganda. This leads to the introduction of symbolic policy measures. Also in Arnhem, where those responsible have missed the opportunity to play a pioneering role. By working on a car-free city center with access for local traffic, Arnhem could have partially fulfilled this role.


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  1. The Netherlands is constantly troubled by environmental hobbyists who run like headless chickens behind environmental hypes without any knowledge. That such a policy has little or no effect seems to be irrelevant. We are constantly bothered by those green left-wing people who really believe that you are doing something good for the environment with a hybrid car and there was even such a troela who thought that we were all taking too long a shower. All these environmental hobbyists are therefore not aware of the facts and with that it seems to be more occupational therapy for these leaders than to put things right. There is no doubt that we will have to make sacrifices for the sake of the environment, but as long as we make this kind of pointless, marginal rumbling happen by people who make life more complicated while it does not do anything, it will go nowhere.

  2. Unjustified crowing and populism instead of sound and joint policy. Unfortunately almost standard in Dutch politics (local and central). Why has no one done proper research into the total footprint (production, fuel consumption, pollution of electricity generated in part from coal-fired power stations and recycling including the batteries) of those so-called environmentally friendly hybrids. If you want to talk about fake news, just look at the entire policy of the environmental lobby.

  3. Who is right is not important. More important is who is right. Unfortunately, the observation is that the environmental freaks on their hobby horses are currently facing the wind. It does not look good for us car enthusiasts. We let ourselves be fumed without being able to make a fist against it. Democracy fails miserably here and fake news beats reality. For me this trend is the reason to enjoy the space even more. Let's all do that!

    • Arnhem is also a pathetic example of local politics. Once there was a councilor for traffic matters who did not even have a driver's license. This man had all sorts of obstacles, thresholds and flower boxes laid down in residential areas in such a way that you were forced to drive on the wrong side of the road at intersections. That meant that if someone turned right at such a crossroads, you could blow on it head-on.

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