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    No more petrol cars on Brussels streets by 2035

    The Brussels government has adopted the definitive version of its Climate plan. 

    The Climate plan will phase out the use of diesel by 2030 and the use of petrol by 2035 at the latest. 

    The previous government created a low-emission zone, which includes areas in all the Brussels communes. The progressive ban of the highest-polluting diesel and petrol vehicles between now and 2025 is currently underway. 

    To achieve this, the Brussels government has committed to “setting new benchmarks for the LEZ for all types of vehicle for 2025-2035” next year. “While working with stakeholders and any affected professional sectors. We will be taking into account the social, economic and budget impact and the alternative technologies available,” a spokes person said. 

    The Brussels government also plans “to add motorcycles to the LEZ rules, which are currently not included for operational reasons. A ban of the highest-polluting motorcycles will be added in 2022.” 

    City centre ‘ZEZ’ and ‘LEZ’ zones

    Brussels authorities are considering “creating zero-emission zones (ZEZ)” in the ‘pentagon’ in the centre of the capital and in certain high-traffic zones such as shopping hubs.

    These ZEZ will have stricter access criteria than the LEZ. “Diesel and petrol vehicles and motorcycles will be banned earlier in these zones. There will eventually be a complete ban on driving lorries in these zones. This will take into account any possible exceptions.” 

    It has already been established that non-rechargeable hybrid petrol engines and CNG engines will not be affected by the stricter access criteria because of their environmental qualities.

    “Banning them too would amount to a total ban on fossil fuel engines and it might be considered later, depending on the alternative technologies available on the market and how accessible they are.”

    The current ‘day pass’ that allows people to drive banned vehicles in the LEZ eight times a year will remain in use. 

    Finally, there will be stricter checks in the LEZ, notably for foreign vehicles, via the introduction of mobile teams and particle filter fraud detection. 

    Sarah Johansson
    The Brussels Times