In a fortnight, Clermont-Ferrand will be the twelfth French city to set up a low emission zone (ZFE). The Auvergne metropolis will thus join Greater Paris, Grenoble, Marseille or Reims, where traffic restrictions for the most polluting vehicles are already in force. From 1er July, heavy goods vehicles and “unclified” utility vehicles will no longer be allowed to drive and park in the Clermont city center – cars are not affected.
A very different configuration from the choices made elsewhere, the implementation being in the hands of local authorities. From one metropolis to another, the EPZs are therefore not alike. Their scope can be very wide, as in Strasbourg with measures that apply to all 33 municipalities of the Eurometropolis, 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. Or more limited, as in Nice, where the ZFE is limited to the hypercentre and major axes, including the Promenade des Anglais.
Not all metropolises are advancing at the same speed either – even if the restrictions remain on the whole still minimal. Well launched, the metropolis of Lyon chaired by the ecologist Bruno Bernard will finally postpone for two years, from 2026 to 2028, the ban on vehicles clified Crit’air 2 (diesel after 2011 and gasoline before 2010).
The Greater Paris Metropolis should also vote at the end of June on a new shift to the beginning of 2025 of the stage concerning the Crit’air 3 vignettes (diesel before 2011, petrol before 2006). Above all, diesel vehicles will not be eradicated everywhere. The decree issued in Toulouse to establish the ZFE does not provide for new restrictions after the ban on Crit’air 3 in 2024.
Faced with a highly politically sensitive subject given the aging of the car fleet, local exemptions bloomed everywhere. In Montpellier, for example, drivers driving less than 8,000 kilometers per year can request permission to drive in the ZFE. In Strasbourg, it is possible for vehicles that do not meet the criteria to request a p 24 times a year allowing access to the ZFE for 24 hours.
By the end of 2024, all of the 43 agglomerations with more than 150,000 inhabitants must have created a ZFE, except to enter into the cases of derogations provided for by a decree of December 2022. In the meantime, “diversity in the implementation work of the ZFE complicates travel from one ZFE to another for users, ”notes a senatorial report published on Wednesday.
With their generalization, “some regions should thus have six ZFEs by 2025, which could harm the readability of the system and make the daily trips of many individuals or professionals difficult to bear”, underlines this document. According to its authors, “in order to anticipate the deployment on a larger scale of the device, a concerted implementation on a regional scale must be envisaged”.