The establishment of a low-emission zone in Brussels is not enough to reduce traffic and slash the concentration of pollutants in the air, says the Research and Urban Action (ARAU) workshop, which advocates extending the zone to the Brussels beltway and introducing an urban toll. The Brussels Region became a low-emission zone on the 1st of January. The most highly polluting vehicles will be banned gradually from the region. ARAU has welcomed the decision which, it says, goes in the right direction, that of taking charge of pollution as a major public health problem. However, it says more needs to be done.
Brussels Environment is counting on a reduction by over 21% of the concentration of nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere and hopes to slash black coal concentrations by up to 46%. These targets are higher than those quoted in recent studies pointing to the limited effects of low-emission zones on air quality, according to ARAU.
The research organ proposes, in particular, the introduction of an urban toll system or a kilometre tax which, Brussels Environment Minister Céline Frémault described in the press in November 2017 as a “logical follow-up”.