BONN The Cologne district government implements a new clean air plan for Bonn. For motorists in Bonn, this means that the Reuterstraße will be at a speed of 30 km/h.
The good news first: The federal city will be spared driving bans on certain streets for the time being - even if the last word has not yet been spoken in court. However, a new clean air plan for Bonn will come into force this Thursday, as the responsible district government of Cologne announced early on Wednesday evening. One of the measures will affect drivers on Reuterstrasse: The city will have to introduce a speed limit of 30 kilometres per hour there.
As is well known, the trigger was a complaint by the German Environmental Aid (Deutsche Umwelthilfe) after Bonn had exceeded the limit value for nitrogen oxide. Following a ruling by the Cologne Administrative Court, driving bans for diesel vehicles and older gasoline engines were threatened on Reuterstrasse and Belderberg Strasse. The district government had "examined zonal and route-related driving bans as an additional measure under road traffic law", according to Dirk Schneemann, vice authority spokesman. With the measures envisaged in the new clean air plan, however, the limit of 40 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide per cubic meter could be met in 2020. That is why the district government is not imposing any driving bans.
The air on the busy Reuterstrasse is to be improved with special measures. On the section between the Botanical Garden and the Bonner Talweg, a speed limit of 30 km/h is to apply in future. Since the clean-up plan will come into force on 15 August, the relevant signs should already have been put up this Thursday. But the city of Bonn explained that it still had to talk to the district government about the question of how the signs should look and when they should be put up.
In addition, the signage on the Autobahn 565 is to be changed in order to relieve the Reuterstrasse of through traffic. "Traffic information signs" are intended to draw attention to "preferred routes in specific traffic situations".
The city's package of measures includes the "Lead City" programme, which improves bus and train services. From the end of the month, as reported, many main lines will operate at shorter intervals. According to the district government, the city is also counting on the "climate ticket" for new customers, the expansion of cycle paths and a better connection between all means of transport. At the same time, by the end of the year the municipal utilities had retrofitted 77 buses with SCRT filters, and RSVG was putting 51 buses with the latest Euro VI emissions standard into operation. Since the buses have so far accounted for a large proportion of the pollution on the Belderberg, the district government expects the limit value to be complied with there after these measures.
"We see our commitment to developing measures to improve air quality at the hotspots and in the urban area as confirmed," said Helmut Wiesner, Head of Transport.
(Original text: Andreas Baumann, Lisa Inhoffen; Translation: Mareike Graepel)