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Ghent announces low emission zone from January 2020

Starting 1 January, diesel cars with a Euronorm 4 will no longer be welcome in Antwerp and Ghent. Credit: Belga

The city of Ghent has announced that it intends to introduce a low emission zone (LEZ) in its city centre by the start of 2020.

On 1 January 2020, diesel cars with a Euronorm 4 will no longer be welcome in the centre of Ghent, the Flemish mobility magazine VAB reports.

A Euronorm rating refers to European emissions standards ranked from 1 to 6. The categorization of a vehicle through Euronorm defines the level of exhaust emissions the vehicle releases. A vehicle rated as Euronorm 1 releases the most exhaust emissions while a vehicle rated as Euronorm 6 releases the least.

These standards apply to vehicles sold in member states of the European Union and the European Economic Area.

Due to the creation of this LEZ, 439,869 cars will no longer be allowed in the centre of Ghent, according to VAB.

People who live in a LEZ will no longer be able to drive a diesel car with a Euronorm 4 rating or lower. Instead, they can purchase a petrol or CNG car, a vehicle that uses compressed or liquefied natural gas as an alternative source of fuel.

Such zones will be further restricted to Euronorm 6 in 2025 and Euronorm 6d-full in 2027. Even the newest car models of today, with a Euronorm 6d-temp, will no longer abide by the rules.

The letters following the number 6 indicate the latest version of the emission standard. In this case, Euronorm 6d-temp is the second to last emission standard. The final standard to date is Euronorm 6d-full.

The cities that introduce zones to limit emissions need to be aware that underprivileged people will be affected the most by this initiative, given that clean and electronic vehicles are more expensive and public transportation alternatives are also limited, according to VAB.

Ghent will be joining Antwerp and Brussels in its targeting emissions through such zones. 16 other Flemish cities such as Kortrijk and Leuven are also considering implementing an LEZ.

Sheila Uría Veliz
The Brussels Times