Air quality is a major concern in Europe’s cities. Diesel vehicles have been identified as the main source of this pollution and Euro standards have been set for vehicle emissions.
The most polluting vehicles have restricted access in Low Emission Zones (LEZs) and fines are issued for infringements. Denmark has the highest fines (up to 2,600 euros), while fines in Austria and Great Britain can be up to 2,000 euros.
But despite these efforts, air pollution in many cities remains high and residents are not always told. In a recent study, the German city of Limburg ranked the most dangerous environmental zone in Europe, followed by the German Ruhr area and Wiesbaden.
The German city of Darmstadt and Arnhem, Delft and Rijswijk in the Netherlands were also identified as high pollution zones. And these are generally areas where vehicle restrictions are not in place.
Meanwhile, top of the list of least polluted areas in Europe is Paris. For anyone who drives in the French capital, this will come as little surprise with its three environmental zones and strict restrictions on all vehicle types. The old town of Prague, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Lyon, Dijon, and Vienna are all ranked on the lower end of the air pollution scale.
It’s probably only a matter of time before we see more LEZs popping up across the continent.