No congestion charges in France

Plans for urban congestion tolls removed from draft transport law following opposition from major cities and the risk of further gilets jaunes' protests

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Urban congestion charges, designed to help cut pollution in major towns and cities, will not be implemented in France in the near future after the government backed down from implementing them in the face of opposition from leading mayors.

The draft law on the future of mobility in France, that was due to be presented to the cabinet on Monday, had been set to include provisions that allowed cities to impose local traffic charges, similar to congestion charges in London or Milan.

But, as reported in the December edition of Connexion, the mayors of France's four major cities - Nice, Bordeaux, Marseille and Paris - all said they were not interested in bringing in the tolls.

The government is also aware that the prospect of further charges for motorists would add fuel to the gilets jaunes' fire - the prospect of future congestion charges has already been highlighted by some protesters.

However, another measure that could lead to controversy is included in the draft bill - the prospect that cities could establish low-emission zones, which would mean that more polluting vehicles would be banned from entering certain areas. Pilot schemes could be introduced from 2020.

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