Postponed environmental zone Utrecht paragon of amateurism

This sign ensures that the application of the Utrecht environmental zone is postponed by four months. Photo: TLG
ER Classics Desktop 2022

The controversial and strict Utrecht environmental zone will not start on 1 January 2015. Diesel drivers are relieved now that the measures have been postponed for at least four months. In any case, it gives project management in Utrecht extra room to resolve numerous gaps and failing control systems. If the environmental zone remains intact. 

The reason for the delay is that the new traffic sign - which must indicate the zone boundaries - is not yet included in the Traffic Rules and Traffic Signs Regulations. The city council of Utrecht initially wanted diesels from before 2001 per 1 January 2015 to be banned from the city. Despite strong criticism and actions by the KNAC, these environmental measures were implemented. National legislation makes applicability per 1 January 2015 impossible. The Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment has indicated that the rules cannot be changed for February 1.

Adjustment period
Utrecht has therefore decided to refer to the period between 1 January and 1 May as 'habituation period'. No fines are imposed on diesel drivers. The municipality will change the rules, so that the city center will be finally locked for diesel cars that originate from before 2001. However, the judge can still undo these plans.

euro standard
The KNAC has been fighting the plans for some time. According to Peter Staal's club, the zone brings virtually nothing to the environment, while it does cause a lot of costs and inconvenience for the citizen. The lack of clarity caused by diesel drivers is also a point of contention, which is caused by the age limit. The fact that a car with a self-igniter was registered before January 1, 2001 says nothing about the Euro standard used. Last summer, for example, the municipality of Utrecht falsely banned 14.000 diesels that were put on the road before January 1, 2001, but did meet the Euro 3 standard. It is one of the gaps in the file.

License plate check does not work
Today the next chapter was added to the environmental soap. Alderman Lot van Hooijdonk kicked off the public campaign related to the introduction of the environmental zone, which is protected by license plate checks, among other things. However, the equipment refused any service. The "checkpoints" register the license plates of the cars with which drivers want to enter the environmental zones. However, the registration system also gave its approval to all diesels that must be excluded. Instead of a clear "NO" the sign showed a contradictory "YES". A thorough pre-check could have prevented this unwanted turn.

Lack of clarity provides room for correct interpretation
There is still a lot of work to be done, displaying an environmental zone rattling all over the shelves and has already led to a scrapping scheme for 2400 Utrecht diesels. This costs an average of € 1.500 in community money per car. The question is whether postponing the money-consuming scheme until May 2015 is not a precursor to cancellation, because national politicians are increasingly raising concerns and the new proposed addition rules are putting further pressure on the attractiveness of diesels. The number of diesels has also fallen sharply due to adjusted tax regulations. Various studies also show that banning diesels makes little or no contribution to a cleaner living environment.

Organizational and project ignorance
In any case, the application of the environmental zone has been temporarily postponed. The motorist driving an older diesel has the opportunity to enter the city center of Utrecht without any worries. And just as important: the postponement of the environmental zone offers the representatives of the interests, the municipality and other stakeholders the opportunity to thoroughly map out the meaning of the introduction of the environmental zone with the associated gaps and harmful consequences. Because the Stichtse tampering and the lack of preparation in the environmental zone dossier mainly shows an unprecedented organizational and project-based ignorance. And before the damage and the lack of credibility further increases, only one correct decision can be made: definitely not introduce the environmental zone.



Give a reaction
  1. What nonsense. Would those few cars make such a difference and if so in what area? And why don't you ever hear anyone about pollution from planes? My youngest car is currently 23 and it gets older every year and I do not intend to get rid of it, neither is the oldest one, which is now 44 and with which I should be allowed to go to Utrecht haha

  2. What a lot of nonsense. Would those few cars make the difference and in what way? Why don't you ever hear anyone about the pollution v

  3. Drivers have thrown a ball and apparently do not have the knowledge to do well-considered work for the salary they are given. Anyone who has obtained a driver's license in the Netherlands is apparently directly a specialist in terms of knowledge. Possibly they are HBO graduates with little experience in the regulations, and they did not know that a new board had to be included in the Traffic Rules and Traffic Signs Regulations first. I am thinking here of the message last week that an older driver was no longer allowed to drive in and out of town with his MB. He had to hand in his polluting diesel.

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