The court in Utrecht postponed the ruling in the appeal of the KNAC versus the municipality of Utrecht about the lawfulness of the environmental zone. That statement was planned for today (October 29). According to the KNAC, the court stated that it needed more time to arrive at an assessment. It is not yet known when the ruling will be. The session took place on September 17. The KNAC had filed a lawsuit against the municipality because, among other things, there were serious doubts about the effects of the measure. Earlier this year, the KNAC was unsuccessful. An appeal was subsequently lodged.
Very limited measurement of air quality
The environmental zone - created to keep diesels from the years before 2001 from the inner city - rattles on all sides. There is inequality. It is not based on standard, but on the year of manufacture of the car. This leads to situations in which an efficient diesel is excluded from 2000, and a frequent consumer from 2002 is not, while meeting the same Euro standard. The environmental impact is also seriously questioned, as it has been shown in German cities that the zones in use had negligible effects. Incidentally, air quality measurement would be used to a limited extent in Utrecht. And that - together with the finding by Alderman Van Hooijdonk in which she indicates that there are hardly any more dirty diesels - is far too little to arrive at correct effect calculations. Also, as witnessed by the number of 7.000 fines, many banned diesels are still entering the city center of Utrecht. This largely invalidates Van Hooijdonk's claim. In fact, the environmental zone simply does not work.
Lack of communication does not lead to an end to the influx of old Diesels
This is partly due to the unfamiliarity with regard to the environmental zone as a result of poor communication and unclear signs still leads to a high supply of old diesels in the city center, mainly from outside Utrecht. The sad thing is that the environmental zone can also be technically circumvented. Because side roads can be used to bypass cameras or simply no cameras are installed at all. The residents of Utrecht now know that.
Technically approved, tax inequality
It all remains curious. Cars from before 2001 that pass the soot measurement at the MOT test are fined when they enter the environmental zone. The streets and roads within the environmental zone may also be driven by "permitted" vehicles. There is also an inequality principle that has already been mentioned. Because for both the well and unauthorized diesel cars, MRB is paid - apart from a few exemptions.
Procrastination plays into the hands of KNAC and affected motorists
In short, there is still much uncertainty and distress. The court also seems to be far from convinced of the usefulness and necessity of the environmental zone. It plays into the hands of the KNAC and the victims. And as long as no actual effects are visible on air quality, the municipality of Utrecht has no arguments in favor of maintaining the environmental zone. Not even after 1,4 million Euro tax money was spent without blinking eyes for an unsubstantiated measure. And not even after the court ruled in favor of the municipality of Utrecht and Milieudefensie. The local environmental party that got out of hand shows exactly why environmental zones don't work. And this problem must not be addressed locally, but nationally. The zones should be replaced by car-free inner cities that are only accessible to residents and local traffic. With a traffic circulation system for all other traffic. It works great in Leeuwarden and Groningen. That combination is simply the best solution. Not even for environmental reasons. But mainly out of proportion.