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Paris restricts car use after pollution hits dangerous levels

Paris restricts car use after pollution hits dangerous levels
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In Paris, pollution has reached such hazardous levels the French government has restricted car use.

From Monday, only vehicles with specific number plates will be able to enter the capital. It is only the second time since 1997 such curbs has been introduced, caused in large part by a week of unseasonably warm weather in France.

For now, the limit has been imposed for just one day, on cars with even number plates, but could be extended to alternate driving days if pollution remains high.

Parisians had mixed views.

‘‘I’m taking my vehicle, no matter what it costs, even if I get a fine, because I have to work,’‘ one man said.

But another woman said: ‘‘For Paris, and for those that live in Paris, because of the pollution, this is great. It’s good news.’‘

Motorcycles are also covered by the ban, but emergency vehicles, taxis and restricted cars with more than three people inside are exempt.

On Friday, public transport was made free of charge in Paris in a bid to improve the city’s air quality. The measure has been extended until Monday.