Rotterdam to ban more trucks, vans in clean air effort

Air_pollution_smoke_rising_from_plant_tower
. Picture: Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Fæ

Rotterdam is taking drastic measures to improve air quality. This includes expanding the environmental zone, so that the most polluting vehicles are no longer allowed in a large part of the city.

Soot emissions must be drastically reduced. Because the traffic in Rotterdam is responsible for fifty percent of these emissions, the most polluting cars are banned from the city. Trucks and vans are also being addressed. More charging stations must be built to encourage people to drive electronic cars. Bikes will also get more priority in traffic.

Next year the municipality wants to adopt a package of measures. This will be done along with residents, businesses and environmental organizations. These plans include ensuring that soot emissions are reduced by 40 percent. 11.7 million euro has been made available for the achievement of these goals.

"The next four years clean air in the city has the priority, especially to improve the health of Rotterdam", said alderman Pex Langenberg.

Air pollution can do a lot of damage to people's health. People living in areas with more air pollution have a higher chance of suffering from asthma and shortness of breath. There is also an increased risk of children being born underweight. This is evident from European research. Last year the same researchers discovered that long-term exposure to particulate matter can increase the risk of premature death, even at concentrations below the official European standard.

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