The Utrecht Environmental Zone may remain. The administrative court ruled that the Municipal Executive could 'reasonably' establish the zone. The fact that the environmental impact of the Environmental Zone may be limited. does not detract from that.
That is the result of a lawsuit that Koninklijke Nederlandsche Automobiel Club (KNAC) and the Stichting Stop Luchtverontreiniging Utrecht (SSLU) against the municipality of Utrecht had started. Both organizations are against the zone for different reasons. The municipality set up an environmental zone in the center of Utrecht per 1 January 2015 to improve air quality. With this zone, passenger cars and delivery vans with diesel before 2001 are banned.
Road sign invalid and still allowed
One of the hot issues in the case was the invalid traffic sign set by the municipality of Utrecht to mark the environmental zone. However, the judge ruled that the municipality does indeed have possibilities to use the combination of signs. The SSLU took the position that the effects of the environmental zone were marginal or possibly even negative, certainly because the initial plans to exclude certain petrol cars were canceled. The judge ruled that the municipality gave an incomplete picture of the effects of the environmental zone after adjusting the plans, but found this insufficient to get a line through the decision. Furthermore, the court did not see why each measure in itself should lead to a significant effect in absolute terms. The court actually said that the effects of the environmental zone cannot be measured separately.
Another argument of the KNAC and the SSLU related to the Euro standards. The court ruled that, at the time the decision was taken, the municipality could assume that the Euro class standard was representative. The fact that, following the hearing, information about the representativeness of the Euro class in certain cars has become known in the media and the public debate after that was unknown. But even now that this information is apparently known, the court sees no reason to respond to current events and to make the judgment dependent on it.
Legal consequences of the environmental zone will be maintained
The KNAC and the SSLU are simply right on many points. All arguments against the environmental zone were well substantiated, the effects of banning diesel vehicles before 2001 are minimal, owners of such vehicles are driven by costs, and most importantly: the effect of a separate measure and the picture incomplete by the municipality of Utrecht are both not important enough. And that while the environmental zone decision of 25 in March 2015 was annulled and the KNAC was declared admissible by the court. As the appeal was upheld. It raises questions in any case.
Possibly to the Council of State
In a conversation with Auto Motor Klassiek KNAC director Peter Staal informed that in the event of a lost case it is considered to go to the Council of State. To this end, the KNAC will consult with a number of other motorist clubs.
Source: De Rechtspraak
Edited and supplemented: Auto Motor Klassiek