Low emission zone in Antwerpen

Earlier this month a low emission zone was introduced in Antwerp (BE). Petrol powered cars with Euro 1 and diesel powered cars with Euro 3 (January 2000) or better are now the only allowed enter the city center.

After the induction of the zone the printed media (Nieuwsblad) jumped on some ‘insane’ consequences of the new rules. In my opinion not the rules, but the reactions are outrageous. Two examples…

Jacques Goeyvaerts (67) may not enter the center with his Nissan Almera diesel from 2003, although he lives only 350 meter from the border. He only uses his 14 year old car sparingly. The Nissan has only run 100 000 km. The low emission zone will cost him 350 EUR a year.

Leo Gyselinck (91) only drives 100 km a year with his 28 year old Mazda. He now can’t enter the low emission zone in Linkeroever anymore to go to take care of his health insurance.

To the first I would like to say: as so many car owners in Belgium you should have bought a petrol instead of a diesel engine back in 2003. An average of 7142 km a year is way to little for a diesel car. On the contrary:  a petrol engined car from 2003 is Euro 3 may enter the low emission zone for many years to come and would have spared lots of city dwellers over the years. For the freaks… The Nieuwsblad article doesn’t focus on the exact engine of the Almera, but Nissan has a long history for serious big diesel engines. The 2003 model was available in a 1,5 and a 2,2 liter version. The latter was because of the high road taxes rather unfriendly for your wallet, especially when driving this little.

To the latter, I understand people get bonded with their car, but at 100 km a year it’s far less expensive to use a cab. And more comfortable and saver I assume…

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