Paris facing new pollution problem

Pollution in Paris

Free parking for capital's residents and a cut in speed limits as authorities work to cut pollution levels

AUTHORITIES in Paris have ordered a cut in speed limits today, and hope that a day’s free parking will encourage residents to travel by public transport, as air pollution rises to dangerous levels across a large part of Île-de-France.

Speed limits have been cut on certain routes in the region as follows:

• 110kph on highway sections normally limited to 130kph
• 90kph on portions of highways and expressways normally limited to 110kph
• 70kph on portions of highways, expressways and national and departmental roads normally limited to 90kph
• 60kph on the Peripherique

The measures have been implemented after region’s air quality monitor Airparif said levels of the fine PM10 particles are expected to stay above the safe limit of 50 microgrammes per cubic metre.

Authorities have warned pollution levels are high enough to pose a risk to more vulnerable residents, such as poorly children, people with asthma and anyone who suffers from cardiac or respiratory illnesses.

The first day of pollution-busting provisions in Paris come as authorities in the Haute-Savoie warned that air pollution in the vallée de l'Arve - notably Chamonix - was dangerously high for the sixth day in a row.

As reported, heavy traffic at the weekend and wood smoke have both contributed to the increased pollution in the Alpine region.

The vallée de l'Arve, which leads to the Mont Blanc tunnel, experienced 58 days of particulate pollution in 2013, according to the regional air quality monitor Air Rhône-Alpes. The European regulatory limit is 35 days per year.

Also read: Parisians can keep home fires burning

Photo: Alberto Hernández

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