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Mayor of Paris plans city-centre car ban

Anne Hidalgo also aims to remove the most polluting vehicles from French capital

Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo says she wants to ban most cars from much of the centre of the French capital to encourage people to get around by bike or on foot. She also aims to ban diesel vehicles from the entire city by 2020.

Speaking to Le Journal du Dimanche, Hidalgo said she wanted to continue the work of her predecessor, Bertrand Delanoë who introduced the Vélib cycle hire scheme , in limiting traffic in the city centre.

Ms Hidalgo said that most motor vehicles would be banned in the four of the 20 arrondisements that make up the historic centre of the city, and that only “clean vehicles” – the least polluting ones – would be allowed on what is termed its “historic axis” running from the rue de Rivoli to the Champs-Elysées.

In those areas, which include Beaubourg, the Marais, the Ile de la Cité and the Ile St Louis, she proposes that only local residents be able to drive private cars, beginning with a trial at weekends that will “quickly extend to the rest of the week.”

The only other motor vehicles allowed there would be those belonging to the emergency services or the city’s public transport network, plus ones making local deliveries.

She also said that the city is planning two major cycle routes crossing the centre from north to south and east to west, plus introducing a hire scheme similar to Vélib’ for electric bikes, with €100 million due to be spent on cycling during the remainder of her administration.

Last week, Mayor of London Boris Johnson said he would consider introducing car-free Sundays to parts of London after taking part in a mass bike ride in a similar event in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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