Judge: The Rotterdam environmental zone no longer applies to older petrol cars

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Passenger cars and vans from before 1 July 1992 that run on petrol may no longer be banned from the Rotterdam Environmental Zone by the municipality of Rotterdam. That has determined the multiple chamber of the Rotterdam court. The traffic decree remains in force for passenger cars and delivery vans with a diesel engine from before 1 January 2001. The Rotterdam Classics Foundation is pleased with the court's decision. The court ruled in the fourteen lawsuits that were brought against the municipality of Rotterdam concerning the Rotterdam environmental zone.

On 27 March 2017, the fourteen claimants stood before the municipality in front of the multiple room in Rotterdam. The Rotterdam Classics Foundation was present together with the FEHAC to support the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs and hundreds of other victims have been waiting for the verdict of the judge.

Environment zone Rotterdam remains in force for diesels

Gasoline vehicles and vehicles with the combination gasoline / LPG can again drive on the north bank of Rotterdam. They are also eligible for a parking permit. So the ruling does not apply to everyone. The environmental zone of Rotterdam will remain in force for diesel vehicles built before 2001. This will remain the case until these vehicles have reached the age of 40 years.

"Step in the right direction"

The Rotterdam Classics Foundation is happy with this statement. “This is a step in the right direction. The General Objections Committee had previously submitted this advice to the alderman, but without arguments the alderman disregarded it. Now that the judge has pronounced the appeal, the alderman can no longer ignore this. ”Niels van Ham of the Rotterdam Classics Foundation also indicated that this ruling - also technically speaking - can hardly be reversed. "The substantiation, and that has been confirmed by several parties, is watertight." Furthermore, a delighted van Ham, the judge's verdict said "to find a congratulation for all Rotterdammers."

"Too short day"

Passenger and delivery vans with petrol engines from before 1 July 1992 and passenger and delivery vans with diesel engines from before 1 January 2001 recently belonged to the category of “refused vehicles”. From 1 in May 2016 was actively maintained, while the effective date of the Rotterdam environmental zone was set on 1 January 2016. The court ruled that the latter date was too short a turn. In November 2015 it was decided to expand the Rotterdam environmental zone with the category of refused passenger and vans, and that there was not enough time for the owners to anticipate the environmental zone measure. That is why it was decided in Rotterdam to actively maintain 1 from 2016 in May. What will happen with the fines for petrol and petrol / LPG vehicles is not yet known.


Neither have figures substantiated the effect of the exclusion of this group of cars. According to a TNO report, they only represent 0,14% of total traffic. Based on the same TNO report, the court considers it plausible that the measure will yield a negligible environmental benefit for this small group of cars. The court has itself ruled that the Rotterdam Environmental Zone will not apply to passenger cars and delivery vans that run on petrol from before 1 July 1992. "The city council has not made it plausible that these vehicles collectively cause a disproportionate share of nitrogen dioxide emissions," the court said.


The court also ruled that B and W van Rotterdam have taken sufficient account of the specific interests of the owners of campers. For them, a packing and unpacking exemption of 72 hours was created for a maximum of twelve times a year. This was done in combination with the possibility to use a day exemption for twelve times a year.


As far as the owners of diesel vehicles are concerned, nothing changes. The ruling of the court seems to be an indication of the future of older vehicles with diesel engines. It was already known earlier that old diesels from 2019 are taxed more heavily. It does not alter the fact that the court's decision was taken for the first time in years on the basis of reasoned arguments and partly correct relationships. Niels van Ham of the Rotterdam Classics Foundation decides. “As said, it's a great step in the right direction. What remains is that the measure has cost a lot of money when it comes to banning the now permitted vehicles. Milieudefensie was less pleased with the ruling through Anne Knol. "The individual interest wins over the collective". For the sake of convenience, Anne Knol forgets that the rejected group of cars only comprises 0,14% of the total traffic.

“Rotterdam's environmental zone largely maintained”

The municipality of Rotterdam responded naturally. “The majority of the Rotterdam environmental zone will be maintained. That means that we have taken a robust measure. ”Finally, the Commission indicated that it should consider taking steps.


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