UK motorists oblivious to France’s emissions sticker scheme

Written by Ellie

Motorists heading to France this summer should be aware of new emissions regulations in force that ban certain vehicles from built-up areas.

That’s because it seems one in three France-bound motorists are oblivious to the recently introduced rules, according to research from the RAC.

More locations are being added to the country’s Crit’Air scheme, with Lille city centre – just 90 minutes’ drive from Calais – introducing an emergency emissions control scheme.

Another 11 districts within the Haut-de-France region have followed suit, while Paris, Grenoble and Lyon already have emissions controls in place.

These scheme are only applied during so-called ‘pollution peaks’, but Lille could introduce the scheme permanently as early as this autumn.

The Crit’Air scheme means all vehicles entering particular locations must display a sticker, coloured according to the vehicle’s emissions.

Green stickers denote the lowest-emitting vehicles, while grey is reserved for the dirtiest. Applying for a Crit’Air sticker is a quick, simple and cheap process, costing around €4.80 (£4.40) with fines of up to €135 (about £123) for those caught out.

Strasbourg, a major tourist centre in the east of France, has announced it will adopt the scheme in the city centre and 32 other areas within the wider city region from November.

Bordeaux in the south west is also understood to be introducing a scheme before the end of the year.

Between 2017 and 2020, a total of 25 cities are expected to bring in the Crit’Air scheme as France attempts to tackle its poor air quality.

Only time will tell how effective the scheme is, a spokesman for RAC European Breakdown said.

“Our message to drivers is simple: if there is even a small chance of you visiting any of the places which are affected, then apply for a Crit’Air sticker now,” the spokesman advised.

“Presuming you don’t change your car, you only have to do it once, as the sticker stays with the vehicle.”

Molly Benton, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, added: “Whether the idea works or not, motorists run the risk of a hefty fine for not abiding by the new scheme.”

Posted on 23rd August 2017

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