Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/23 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/23 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/23 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/23 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/23 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/23 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/23 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/23 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/23 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/23 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 07/23 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/21 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 07/23 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/21 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/23 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/23 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 07/23 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 07/21 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 07/23 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/23 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 07/23 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Latest news
  • Chris Froome wins third Tour de France in a row, fourth tour overall
Environment

Paris restricts traffic as pollution soars

media Police check cars' number plates in Paris on Tuesday AFP

Public transport was free and cars with odd registration numbers were banned in Paris Tuesday because of a rise in pollution levels linked to cold weather and clear skies. Major towns in the Rhône valley and the Alps also suffered from high levels of fine particles, which cause a rise in respiratory problems.

Officials in Tuesday declared that only cars with even-numbered registration could be used in Paris and 22 surrounding towns on Tuesday, bowing to a call by mayor Anne Hidalgo last week.

This is the fourth time the French capital has taken the measure.

Travel on the metro and other public transport was free, to encourage motorists to leave their cars at home, as was the Vélib bike hire scheme, while the Autolib electric car scheme was free for an hour.

On Monday heavy goods vehicles were banned from passing through the Ile de France region, unless they were delivering or picking up there and speed limits were reduced by 20 kilometres.

The measures will be extended on Wednesday, with even-numbered registrations banned, if the pollution levels remain high.

Motorists who ignore the rule can be fined 22 euros on the spot or 35 euros if they pay later and repeat offenders can have their cars immobilised or seized.

Green Party councillors in Lyon demanded that vehicle restrictions be introduced there, too.

Cold weather, lack of wind to blame

Weather-watchers Airparif blame an increase in the use of wood-burning stoves and other combustibles because of the cold weather and a lack of wind, which would usually disperse the polluting particles.

Another effect of the cold is that the fall in ground temperatures at night while the air above remains warmer traps pollution that would usually be disperseed.

Motor vehicles also contribute, the reason for tightening speed limits, as do electricity generators and fires set to clear brush in rural areas.

Both Paris and Lyon are soon to enforce anti-pollution stickers for vehicles and Paris this year banned old cars from its streets, as well as closing roads along the banks of the river Seine.

Air pollution kills 48,000 people a year in France and 34,000 of the deaths are avoidable, according to study published this year.

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.