SEMA eNews Vol. 14, No. 13, March 31, 2011

E.U. Officials Call for Ban on Driving in All Center Cities by 2050; Interim 50% Ban Within 20 Years

The European Commission proposed earlier this week to ban “conventionally fuelled cars” from all center cities throughout the 27 national European Union (E.U.) by 2050. Insisting citizens could walk, bike or take public transportation, E.U. Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas announced to a packed March 28 press conference that the European Commission is prepared through taxes and regulations to have a zero-tolerance policy of cars within European cities.

“That means no more conventionally fuelled cars in our city centres," he said.

The drastic measures were proposed in order to reduce Europe's dependence on imported oil and cut carbon emissions in transport by 60% by 2050, according to just-released commission documents. Opposition to the proposal has been growing with the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) pronouncing, "a simple call for a decrease in the use of motor vehicles will not provide the easy solution it appears to be because there will not be less demand for the flexible solutions that road transport provides in contrast to other modes.” 

UK Transport Minister Norman Baker, according to the BBC, was a little more blunt noting, “We will not be banning cars from city centres [sic] any more than we will be having rectangular bananas." 

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