The Royal Dutch Automobile Club is looking forward to the ruling in the appeal against the Utrecht environmental zone. The representative has enough reasons to trust in a successful outcome. "The national political developments strengthen us in the conviction that we have a good chance of being right."
If the court actually makes a judgment in favor of the KNAC, that means nothing more and nothing less than the immediate end of the Utrecht environmental zone, which became binding from 1 January 2015. Drivers with a diesel vehicle from the years before 2001 can no longer enter the city center of Utrecht since this date.
Since 2013 in action against environmental zone Utrecht
Since 2013, the KNAC has been campaigning against the environmental zone. The municipality of Utrecht was the first to stop the "polluting vehicles" from the city center. The KNAC states that the effects of a zone cannot be demonstrated at all and that the banned vehicle fleet is negligible compared to the total traffic supply. In the first court case, the KNAC was unsuccessful, after which it was decided to appeal.
Clarity was expected around the beginning of November, but for unclear reasons the Court postponed the ruling twice. On 22 this January, after 11.30 hours, it will be clear whether Lady Justice appears to be sensitive to the arguments against the environmental zone. In the recent and further past, the KNAC already provided sufficient motives against setting up and keeping the zone in Utrecht operational. Furthermore, in December 2015 a motion by VVD MP Barbara Visser against the environmental zones in the Netherlands was adopted.
In the run-up to tomorrow's verdict, we spoke with KNAC director Peter Staal. He indicated that he was positive about the course. “A very important pillar under that optimism is the traffic sign with which environmental zones are now designated. That is a truck sign and explicitly not intended for passenger cars. The municipality itself has now unauthorizedly used a sign awaiting the arrival of a definitive accepted road sign and included in the Road Traffic Act. That, the Minister of Environment and Infrastructure has said, will not happen. ”The fact that the House of Representatives passed a motion from VVD MP Barbara Visser also leads to optimism. If the sign is declared invalid, it is likely that the environmental zone never existed. "And then issued fines can also be recovered."
KNAC continues to insist on fundamental issues
According to Peter Staal, the KNAC continues to insist on fundamental issues and objections with regard to the environmental zone. “It remains a strange phenomenon to observe that the age limit of a passenger car is set at the Euro standard. In addition, MRB is paid for the rejected vehicles and the MOT obligation is met. It has also never been determined how the exact proportion of rejected vehicles compares to the permitted traffic. "
Case remains current, regardless of pronunciation
Staal also indicated that, regardless of the content of the ruling, the case would also continue to concern the people after tomorrow. “There is a good chance that the municipality will go to the Council of State if they are unsuccessful. We, in turn, will strongly consider taking that step in the event of a lost cause. " Should the court rule against the environmental zone tomorrow, it will not be lifted but, according to Staal, "the zone will have a suspensive effect".