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Bonn, Cologne ordered to ban diesel cars

November 8, 2018

The two cities in western Germany are the latest to be ordered by a court to impose diesel vehicle bans. The German government is under pressure to get old, polluting vehicles off the roads.

Skyline of Cologne
Image: Fotolia/Noppasinw

A German court has ruled that the western cities of Cologne and Bonn must ban old polluting diesel vehicles from the roads in order to improve air quality.

The ban must be introduced by April 2019. But the court decision has its detractors.

Read more: Older German diesels face reckoning

'A lot of disruption'

NRW State Environment Minister Ursula Heinen-Esser said authorities will file an appeal because the court "did not address the issue of proportionality."

"It will cause a lot of disruption for the transport infrastructure of the city of Cologne and have a significant impact on residents, commuters and the whole of Cologne as a business hub," Heinen-Esser said.

The ruling came as automobile executives met with German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer on Thursday to find a way forward on diesel emissions in the country.

German carmaker BMW has rejected agreements to retrofit diesel vehicles, arguing it isn't the best way forward. The German government has also signaled its intention to avoid driving bans on diesel vehicles. Meanwhile, VW and Daimler have agreed to spend up to 3,000 euros ($3,430) per vehicle to help reduce diesel emissions.

Read more: EU car buyers foot the bill of new emissions test

German cities hit by bans

The Cologne Administrative Court ruling is the latest to remove diesel vehicles from the roads to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels.

Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), an environmental organization, has filed nearly 30 cases against cities to force them to take polluting vehicles off the roads.

Read more: Angela Merkel's coalition reaches deal on diesel crisis

Stuttgart, Aachen, Frankfurt, Mainz and Berlin also have court-ordered diesel vehicle bans. Hamburg has a limited diesel vehicle ban.

ls,cw/aw (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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