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Old diesel cars will soon be banned on this Stockholm street

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Old diesel cars will soon be banned on this Stockholm street
Hornsgatan in Stockholm could be the capital's first environmental zone. File photo: Magnus Liam Karlsson / SvD / SCANPIX/TT
08:49 CEST+02:00
A street in southern Stockholm looks likely to become the city's first so-called 'environmental zone', meaning that old diesel cars would be completely banned.

The ban is expected to come into force from February next year on Hornsgatan, a road that runs across the Södermalm island.

Sweden's government made it possible for local authorities to create environmental zones in spring last year, but the decision of whether to do so and where was left up to individual towns.

It was a key question in the local election in Stockholm in September, with the Green Party strongly in favour of the scheme but opponents claiming a diesel ban was unnecessary due to the continuing improvement of air quality in the Swedish capital.

After the Green Party remained in the council, in coalition with the centre-right Alliance rather than previous centre-right allies the Social Democrats which was critical of the idea, the introduction of the environmental zone is set to be announced next week, Dagens Industri reported.

"There are up to 1,000 people in the [Stockholm] region who die an early death each year due to bad air quality, and Hornsgatan is the worst, so it's clear that this is an important measure," Daniel Helldén, Green Party deputy mayor and head of Stockholm's traffic division, told the newspaper.

The ban would mean that only newer diesel cars meeting the emission standards of Euro 5 and Euro 6 will be permitted in the zone, and by 2022 only Euro 6 will be allowed. In practice, this would ban most cars older than 11 years, but the older cars would still be allowed to cross Hornsgatan.

Helldén said that the next step would be to introduce more environmental zones, including temporary ones, on other streets in the city.

"If, for example, it was needed on Sveavägan, you could introduce an environmental zone on the times or days when [traffic] levels are highest," he said, referring to a major street in the northern part of the capital. "That's what we will look at further as the next part of this."

Vocabulary

environmental zone – miljözon

opponent – motståndare

unnecessary – onödig

air quality – luftkvalitet

important – viktig

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