In order to comply with the Climate and Sustainability Law, the urban community must create a Low Emission Zone (ZFE) in and around Perpignan by January 1, 2025. The mayor of the city, Louis Aliot, fears that 41% of the private cars currently in circulation are considered too polluting to continue driving in the agglomeration area of the capital of northern Catalonia. He calls for “exceptions”.
After the Communist Party, it is the National Rally’s turn to warn about the possible effects of the future Low Emission Zone (ZFE) in Perpignan. Since the Climate and Sustainability Law of 2021, the creation of the ZFE, imposed on the accumulation of more than 150,000 inhabitants, consists in prohibiting the circulation of the oldest vehicles in a certain perimeter. Thanks to the vehicle age vignette system (Crit’air). Perpignan and fourteen neighboring municipalities are mentioned in the last December decree of the ministry specifying the relevant sector in the country of Catalonia. The urban community of Perpignan-Méditerranée Métropole (PMM) must establish the mentioned ZFE by January 1, 2025.
“Perpignan centers several important infrastructures and services (bus station, hospital, university …), this area will create a number of problems for many residents of the department, Louis Aliot, the mayor of the city, warns about this. If cars classified Crit’air 3,4 and 5 are prohibited in the ZFE (Diesels before 2011 and petrols before 2006, Ed), In the Perpignan-Méditerranée area, 41% of private cars and 51% of utilities will be affected. This is a law that punishes the poorest among us under the guise of protecting the environment!”
ZFEs “liberticidal and unjust”?
Louis Aliot announces that he will soon submit a proposal for a low emission zone to the PMM community council. Four local RN MPs also intend to deliver the call to the National Assembly. “EPZs are both draconian and socially unjust, Sandrine Dogor-Such considers one of them. Despite public assistance, the average remaining payment for the purchase of an electric or hybrid car is more than 20,000 euros.
The main challenge for Louis Aliot is to ensure that cars classified Crit’air 3 (diesels since 2006 and petrol since 1997) also remain permitted at the Perpignan ZFE. This would reduce the number of potentially prohibited vehicles within the latter to approximately 15% of the department’s existing vehicle fleet.
“It’s highly likely that Crit’air 3 won’t be banned”
In essence, the prefecture recalls that the establishment of the ZFE aims to reduce atmospheric pollution (fine particles, nitrogen oxides, etc.), which is mainly concentrated in urban areas, causing approximately 47,000 deaths in France every year.. “We need to respond to this public health problem, Marc Médina, vice president of the urban community responsible for sustainable development, believes. But we citizens want to do it gradually, without haste.”
In this file, the elected official intends to remain more pragmatic than ever: “We created a steering committee by uniting Atmo Occitanie (this specifically analyzes air quality in Perpignan, Editor’s note) to determine what to put in its place. However, given the results of air quality measurements in Perpignan, it is very likely that Crit’air 3 will not be banned.” And for good reason. according to prefecture: “In big cities, the law obliges Crit’air 5, 4 and 3 types of vehicles to be banned according to a predetermined schedule. In small cities, especially Perpignan – it depends on the local authorities. The parameters of the EPZs.”
Marc Médina also notes that exemptions may be granted, especially for “small rolls” or farmers. And due to the announced modification of the pollution degree to be respected regarding nitrogen oxide, the exact perimeter of the ZFE may be modified downwards.