Low emission zones
Feasibility Study: European City Pass for Low Emission Zones EU City Pass For Low Emission Zones
Client: DG Environment
Many Member States are still falling short of agreed EU air quality standards; the situation is particularly alarming in urban areas. In this context, the European Commission, which had repeatedly highlighted the improvement of air quality as a pressing need, adopted a clean air policy package in December 2013.
In the same vein, the 2002 Environmental Noise Directive introduced the concept of quiet areas in urban agglomerations and requires that Member States prepare action plans to protect these areas.
Low Emission Zones (LEZ) can contribute to reducing both noise and air pollution (mainly fine particles, nitrogen oxides, and other ozone precursors) in urban areas. A coordinated approach to the set-up and implementation of LEZ would allow for a better and easier understanding for drivers across Europe and contribute to improve implementation of air quality legislation. Therefore, this feasibility study served to provide an assessment of the potential for a European city pass that would allow low-emission vehicles to access any LEZ.
To do so, the project team examined the various Low Emission Zones (LEZ) schemes in place across Europe and assessed their economic, environmental, social and health implications, with special attention to their potential for triggering eco-innovation.
Based on this assessment, a guidance document was produced that seeks to assist national authorities considering implementation of a national LEZ framework as well as local authorities considering setting up LEZs.
In this context, Milieu was responsible for summarising the costs and social and commercial impacts associated with implementation of LEZ that have been reported in recent literature. This work encompassed both direct costs and impacts, which relate to the set-up and operation of LEZs, and indirect costs and impacts; i.e. on urban areas’ economic and commercial activity and quality of life. Direct and indirect costs and impacts were also grouped according to the main affected target group(s) local authorities, businesses and citizens.
Milieu experts were likewise in charge of providing a substantial contribution to the practical guidance document, particularly as regards cost-benefit analysis.
It is expected that the work carried out under this project, which includes specific common approaches for LEZ planning and implementation, will contribute to further integrating the eco-innovation concept into sectoral policies, particularly into air quality and noise policies.