Paris smog prompts driving ban

The French Government has introduced a driving ban in Paris to counter some of the worst smog the city has seen in years. From 5.30am this morning, only half of […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The French Government has introduced a driving ban in Paris to counter some of the worst smog the city has seen in years.

From 5.30am this morning, only half of drivers in the city are allowed to use their cars, depending on whether their number plate ends with an odd or even number.

Tomorrow this will be swapped over – apart from electric and hybrid cars which are all exempt from the ban.

Public transport in Paris has been free all weekend and continues to be free on Monday and Tuesday so drivers can get to work without their cars.

Anyone flouting the ban faces a fine of €22-75 (£18-63) and their vehicle may be clamped or even impounded.

Hundreds of police are said to be on the streets of Paris to enforce the rule which the Government described as an “exceptional measure”.

In a statement the Prime Minister’s office said he is “aware of the difficulties that this may result in”, adding: “But this extra step is required. The Prime Minister relies on the sense of responsibility and citizenship of each and every one.”

Last week French police also cut speed limits by 20km per hour on some roads to limit emissions from industrial sites.

It comes after several French regions including the North and the Rhone valley passed a pollution “threshold” of 100 micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter of air.