Thousands of diesel vehicles will no longer be allowed to drive in Brussels

Thousands of diesel vehicles will no longer be allowed to drive in Brussels
Credit: Belga

From 1 January, the Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) in Brussels will introduce a new restriction on Euro 4 diesel vehicles – effectively banning them from circulating in 19 Brussels communes.

The new regulations will apply to some 76,500 vehicles of 11 years or older that are registered in Belgium and drive in the Brussels-Capital Region, among them cars, vans, buses and minibuses. Approximately 25,000 of these are registered in Brussels itself, Belga News Agency reports.

According to Brussels Environment, the rule affects the last generation of diesel vehicles that did not have to be fitted with filters to prevent small polluting particles from being emitted. A three month transition period will run until 1 April 2022, at which point those who continue to drive these vehicles in the area will receive a €350 fine.

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Brussels Environment hopes that the measure will bring tangible benefits to the city. According to a study that evaluated 130,000 vehicles in the capital, cars with Euro 4 category diesel engines are responsible for almost half of particle emissions from exhaust pipes and one-quarter of the highly toxic nitrogen oxide emissions. This is in spite of these vehicles accounting for just 12% of vehicles in the region.

The European Environment Agency calculates that air pollution causes 9,000 premature deaths each year in Belgium – 1,000 in Brussels – as well as numerous cardio-vascular and respiratory diseases.

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