Home >> Sci & Tech

Dense smog forces Paris to ban half of its vehicles on Monday

Paris mayor's office on Saturday announced to several emergency measures for Monday, including banning half of its traffic and making public transport free, in order to deal with dense smog that recently covered the French capital.

It is learned that the mayor has decided to impose a partial driving ban on Monday and only vehicles with even numbers on their license plates would be allowed to circulate. The ban would not be applied to ambulances, taxis or police vehicles. The authorities may allow odd-numbered cars on the road if they carry more than three passengers.

The mayoral office has also decided to make public transport free on Monday. Most of the parking lots throughout the city will also not charge any money on Monday. It is notable that these steps were applied only for the duration of the weekend. Paris had last time adopted this measure in March 2014. It is interesting to note that the lack of traffic control across the city means that the measures only amounted to 16 percent drop in vehicle usage.

"I am delighted the state has agreed to put in place a partial driving ban on Monday, which I have been requesting for several days" wrote Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo on Twitter.

The mayoral office took the step a week after Paris has been covered in a dense cloud of smog, making it for a short period on Wednesday the most polluted city in the world according to Plume Labs.

State authorities have been facing severe criticism from several quarters, with some claiming that future pollution clouds might averted only through long-term measures to reduce pollution, such as a definitive ban on heavy-polluting vehicles.