Fewer old, polluting diesel cars on Dutch roads; 73 pct drop since 2010

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The number of diesel cars from before 2001 on Dutch roads decreased again last year, Statistics Netherlands said on Tuesday. Nationwide the number of old passenger and commercial cars dropped by 18 percent compared to 2015 and by a massive 73 percent compared to 2010. The decline was greatest in the Dutch cities that took specific measures to get these polluting cars off the street.

Rotterdam had the most success of the four large Dutch cities. In 2014 Rotterdam started offering residents subsidies for getting rid of their old diesel car. And since last year these cars are not allowed in certain parts of the city - the environmental zone. The number of old diesel cars in Rotterdam almost halved last year and decreased by 86 percent compared to 2010.

Utrecht, which had a similar subsidy for demolition arrangement concerning old cars between 2013 and early 2016, also saw a significant drop in old polluting cars. Between 2013 and end 2015, the number of old diesel cars decreased by an average of 32 percent a year. And over 2016, after the subsidy arrangement lapsed, there was still a 20 percent drop. Utrecht currently counts 1,500 old diesel cars in the city, the lowest number in all four big cities.

Amsterdam and The Hague took no special measures against old, polluting cars. In these cities the number of pre-2001 cars dropped by 24 percent and 20 percent respectively. Amsterdam is the Dutch city with the most polluting cars register before 2001 with 5,500.