During the pollution peak of mid-March, emergency measures were implemented in Paris to avoid a further air pollution rise. These measures sought to encourage people to use public transport and carpooling. On March 17, cars could only be used by alternate number plates, except if at least 3 people were on board or for hybrid and electric vehicles. Heavy goods vehicles were also banned from the roads, except for emergency and food-supply vehicles, buses and taxis.
Haute-Savoie also suffered an air pollution peak, but no emergency measures were implemented here. A temporary ban on the movement of the most polluting lorries would have been entirely feasible and the measure is even listed in the Plan for the Protection of the Atmosphere of the Arve Valley. The health of people in Haute-Savoie should be protected, just like the health of Parisians.
Beyond emergency actions, all-year-round measures must also be put into place to significantly reduce emissions of pollutants. It is well known that chronic exposure to lower levels of air pollution is as much of a health hazard as exposure to more visible pollution peaks.
Haulage carriers demonstrate good public spirit
In Paris 1 in 2 lorries were not permitted access to the capital on March 17, but no protest action was reported. Haulage carriers accepted this emergency measure, showing good social conscience, in an attempt to reduce general air pollution. In Haute-Savoie, the Prefect, Under-Prefect and MPs are paralysed by fear of the reaction of the haulage sector, should measures be put in place to restrict the movement of their most polluting lorries. This fear partly explains their reluctance to apply measures to the road transport sector locally. Following the positive experience in Paris, why is it still thought that haulage carriers wouldn’t be as understanding in Haute- Savoie than in Paris?