It must allow reduce the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases according to town hall. In Toulouse, the establishment of the Low Emission Zone (ZFE) is “imminent”. This was announced by the mayor of the city on October 20. yet, the measure is contested, notably by the Interclub ZFE 31 collective. He points to a “punitive ecology”. A large mobilization is also planned this November 6 to identify the possible social and economic consequences.
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A “relevant” measure for the town hall
For François Chollet, project leader at Toulouse City Hall, this measure is “relevant“. Contacted by The Independent Opinion, he explains that “several thousand people in Toulouse are above the thresholds tolerated for nitrogen oxide exposure with their vehicle”.
Registered within the framework of the Mobility Orientation Law of 2019, the ZFE in Toulouse should indeed make it possible to decrease air pollution. And for him, “the target is beyond doubt”. He says that “80% of nitrogen oxide emissions come from heat engines, therefore cars.” And by reducing their presence in town, “we are reducing this production and we are responding to thepublic health goal“, he adds.
“The most restrictive ZFE in France” for the Interclub collective
But for the Interclub ZFE 31 collective, this low emission zone is above all “punitive“. Contacted by The Independent Opinion, Florent Capoulade, member of the Macadam Passion association and of the Interclub ZFE 31 collective, explains that “the problem is the total and permanent nature of the ban”.
According to the municipal decree, the ZFE will in fact prohibit the most polluting vehicles from circulating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the city of Toulouse, Al ‘inside the ring road, and on part of Colomiers and Tournefeuille. Let a perimeter of 72 km². “This makes it the most restrictive EPZ in France compared to other cities like Paris, where restrictions are lifted after 8 p.m. at night and all day at weekends,” he adds.
This argument, the project manager sweeps away with the back of his hand. “No, this is not the most restrictive area. Several EPZs are stopping diesel in Bordeaux and Lyon, but this will not be the case in Toulouse “.
Additional public transport and conversion assistance
To respond to the issues that the ZFE may pose, François Chollet explains that several mechanisms have been put in place. In the first place: a increase in the supply of public transport. “Two Linéo lines, the 11 and the 12, are due to open this year. One must connect the north of Toulouse and the other Muret, “he explains. In addition,” relay parking at the terminal of these lines on the outskirts are also set up, “adds the elected official.
Finally, a policy ofconversion aids is also produced by the town hall according to the project manager. “On a one bicycle policy with the express bike network and aid from the metropolis for the purchase of electric bicycles up to 600 euros depending on the vehicle. There is also a help from the city to change vehicles who go up to 5,000 euros, can be combined with other state and regional aid, ”he adds.
But for the collective, these aids are insufficient. “When you have to use public transport, when you don’t live in the city center but on the outskirts and you have to work late or get up early, how do you do it?” Asks Florent Capoulade. “I am thinking of students or professions with staggered hours. At 5 am, there is not necessarily public transport”. Added to this are the “economic impacts“, according to him.” Globally, the whole used auto-motorcycle sector will be harmed. This concerns almost a third of the rolling stock in Toulouse. So it will be a third of turnover less for mechanics, technical inspections, car dealers, etc. “, he explains.
“We are not against, but we are calling for an improvement of the ZFE”
The collective assures him, it is “not against the ZFE”. “We too are environmentalists and we are all for improving the environment,” says Florent Capoulade. “But we want a layout of this ZFE “. Among the solutions he encountered on the table: a ban lifted in the evening and on weekends. End of refusal to receive from the town hall almost immediately. If the EPZ is permanent, it is because it will be more effective. “If the town hall exempts him in the evening and on weekends, there would be a loss of 30% in terms of air purity, “argues François Chollet.
The collective also wants a exemption for motorcycles and tricycles 2-3 wheels. “They make it possible to fluidify traffic and are less polluting“, affirms Florent Capoulade. But the elected official says this exemption”unfair“. He recalls that” motorcycles are heat engines, and are therefore not not neutral“. And for him, this EPZ represents a”collective effort“.” Everyone must be concerned for maximum efficiency in terms of health.
Through its mobilization, the collective hopes to meet Toulouse Métropole to find a solution “reasoned and accepted by the population. Otherwise, there will be a massive and counterproductive rejection of the measure”, warns Florent Capoulade.