Jonas Hamers / ImageGlobe

Ghent bans most polluting cars starting 2020

The city of Ghent intends to ban the most polluting cars from the inner city.  The Ghent city authorities have just announced which vehicles will be subject to restrictions starting 1 January 2020 when the most polluting vehicles will no longer be permitted in the inner city.

Cars are being banned from entering the low emission zone within the Ghent city ring road based on their euro norm which is given on the vehicle’s registration certificate.  Petrol- and natural gas fuelled cars at least need to possess euro norm 2, while for diesel cars at least euro norm 5 is required.

Cars are being split up into three categories. Three-quarters of cars fall into the green category and are all allowed in.  Diesel cars between 9 and 12 years fit into the orange category.  They are being let in for now, but owners will have to pay an entrance fee of between 25 euros a week and 345 euros for an entire year.

Vehicles that don’t meet the entrance norms can purchase a day pass for 35 euros on up to 8 occasions. Smart cameras will check cars entering the zone.  Owners of vehicles that flout the ban risk a 150 euro fine.

Scrappage grants of up to 1,000 euros are available for owners of vehicles that don’t meet the new norms.  People handing in their number plate receive a bonus to spend on public transport or an electric bike. Car sharing too is being encouraged.