Emissions higher than expected: Diesel ban looms again for Reuterstraße

Emissions higher than expected : Diesel ban looms again for Reuterstraße

Because the nitrogen dioxide value is higher than expected, many diesel drivers in Bonn once again face a possible ban for Reuterstraße. The city and the state of NRW are now considering further measures to prevent the drastic step.

Some diesel car drivers may be facing a ban on Reuterstraße in Bonn after all. The district government of Cologne informed the city of Bonn this week that fourth quarter results for 2018 showed that the annual average limit of 40 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) per cubic meter of air had been significantly exceeded. And the readings showed an upward trend.

Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan and city planning director Helmut Wiesner reported to steering committee members that the results were still preliminary. But after consultation with the state, the district government expects that the yearly average for Reuterstraße will be around 50 micrograms - which means that additional measures will have to be included in the clean air plan for Bonn if a driving ban is to be prevented. "That is definitely our goal," Sridharan stressed to the members of the committee. Sridharan and Wiesner reported that they were in close contact with the district government of Cologne and the state of NRW.

Efforts to prevent diesel ban

On Friday, Sridharan had a telephone conversation with Ursula Heinen-Esser (CDU), Minister for the Environment of the State of Baden-Württemberg. She had also promised that all possibilities would be examined to prevent a diesel ban in Bonn. This included measures such as re-routing of traffic and access to the main thoroughfare through signal lights.

But time is running out. The deadline for the air pollution control plan is April 1. In May, the City of Bonn is scheduled to appear before a Cologne court, under whose jurisdiction the case falls. In November, the Cologne court had decided that driving bans for certain diesel vehicles and old gasoline-powered cars, would have to be introduced in Bonn from April 1 because the limit for nitrogen dioxide on Reuterstraße and Belderberg had been exceeded.

The district government of Cologne then revised the air pollution control plan for Bonn and no longer saw any reason to enforce a driving ban. Included in the plan is the retrofitting of city bus fleets with SCRT filters, for both Bonn and Rhein-Sieg. This is expected to help reduce air pollution for Belderberg. According to Wiesner, the district government expects that the limit will not be exceeded there.

(Orig. text: Lisa Inhoffen, Translation: Carol Kloeppel)