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Marseille brings in road restrictions to help reduce air pollution

The city centre has imposed Crit’Air pollution rules as the heatwave exacerbates pollution. The rules will remain in place until the situation improves

A view of the basilica in Marseille city centre

Air pollution in Bouches-du-Rhône is at high levels, authorities have said, with driving restrictions in place today in Marseille centre as a result Pic: Altitude Drone / Shutterstock

Driving restrictions are in place in Marseille in south-east France today (Monday, July 18) due to increased air pollution exacerbated by the hot weather.

The restrictions have been imposed in the centre of Marseille today, the prefecture said in a statement, and were introduced on Saturday across the department of Bouches-du-Rhône (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur).

Only lighter vehicles with a Crit’Air rating of 0 to 3 are allowed in the centre. For heavier vehicles, only those with a 0 to 2 rating are allowed.

Read more: A guide to Crit'Air stickers in France 

Speed limits will also be lowered by 20km/h where applicable on all major roads in the department (but will not go below 70km/h).

“Anyone contravening the ban on the circulation of vehicles without a sticker is liable to a fine of between €68-€135 for light vehicles", the prefecture stated.

Yet, it added that today (Monday), the main “emphasis will be placed on education" and raising awareness of the rules.

"However, on the following days, the measures of the decree will be fully applicable,” the statement added.

The rules will remain in place as long as the pollution threshold remains at level 2, it said, meaning 180 micrograms of ozone per m3 (the current level).

This level requires increased public awareness, said the joint statement from air quality surveillance group AtmoSud, Dréal Paca and health agency ARS Paca.

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