Paris ring road will drop to 50km/h limit from September, says mairie

The limit is currently 70km/h. Critics say the reduction will ‘drive people crazy’

The périphérique carries around 1.2 million drivers every day

The speed limit on the Paris périphérique (ring road) will drop from 70 km/h to 50 km/h from September this year, the capital’s mairie has stated.

David Belliard, deputy mayor in charge of transport, confirmed the move to France Bleu Paris on May 22. It is, he said, intended to improve air quality, noise pollution, and safety.

New car-sharing and public transport lanes will also be added to the road, he said, as a way of encouraging Parisians to move to these forms of transport instead of taking their individual cars. 

“[The périphérique] is a municipal road, under the responsibility of the Paris mairie, and we are working on common sense,” he said.

Currently, 1.2 million drivers use the périphérique every day to commute.

“Thinking time is over, it’s time to act. It’s a question of public health,” said first deputy mayor Emmanuel Grégoire on X (Twitter). “More than 500,000 residents live close to the périphérique. This public consultation has existed since 2005.”

The speed limit was cut from 90 km/h to 70 km/h on the road in January 2014.

Read also: Paris plans to reduce speed limit on outer ring road from 70 to 50km/h 
Read also: 'Transforming Paris’ ring road could help unify the city or divide it' 

‘Driving people crazy’

Transport Minister Patrice Vergriete has already criticised the plan, saying that it “stigmatises Ile-de-France residents who have a car”.

Former Transport Minister Clément Beaune also disagreed with the measure, saying in December 2023: “If you have a reserved lane [for car-sharing] and you reduce the périphérique limit to 50 km/h, you’re going to drive people crazy.”

Some have suggested that the move is a way for the Paris mairie to share costs of maintaining the périphérique with the Région Ile-de-France. The office is looking for cost-cutting ideas amid projected debts of €10 billion by the end of Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s term in 2026.

The périphérique is a 35 km long road, with 1 million m2 of surface area across multiple lanes, representing a considerable maintenance cost.

“We are continuing to discuss options with relevant parties,” said Mr Belliard on the subject of cost and approval. “I have not given up hope of convincing the new transport minister on the value of this measure.”