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Europe

Paris rolls out anti-pollution measures amid European heat wave

© Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt, AFP | Archival picture shows a police officer monitoring polluting vehicles in Paris, January 2017.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-06-22

Authorities in Paris this week rolled out a series of measures to limit pollution, which has reached worrying levels amid a heat wave gripping France and other European countries.

Paris officials on Thursday imposed driving restrictions in and around the capital, urging residents to leave their cars parked as a way of curbing the current air pollution peak.

An alternative-day driving ban started on Thursday, with the most-polluting vehicles barred entirely from driving in the city. Police also reduced speed limits in some areas and diverted heavy goods trucks.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced that the city’s Velib’ bike-sharing programme, as well as residential parking, was free on Wednesday and Thursday.

For a second day in a row, the regional transport network RATP reduced fares. An all-day pass that was valid across Paris and the surrounding suburbs was being sold for €3.80. An all-day transit pass for the city's five zones usually costs €24.50.

An alert for high levels of ozone was declared in 30 departments across France, with other cities also rolling out anti-pollution measures.

Authorities in the southern Marseille region reduced speed limits for motorists by 20 km/hr, and thenorthern city of Lille’s transport network reduced fares.

Heat slams Europe

The rise in pollution was linked to a heat wave that was already breaking records across Europe.

Britain saw its first five-day stretch of temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius in June since 1995 – and the thermometer hit 33.9° in west London, the highest for the month of June since 1976.

Portugal continued to battle deadly forest fires, even as the main blaze was brought under control, with abnormally high temperatures hampering firefighters' efforts.

In Italy, forecasters say the current heat wave could turn out to be the most intense in 15 years, with temperatures around eight degrees above the seasonal average. The mercury was set to rise to 39°C in Milan.

In Russia, Siberia was also suffering a heat wave, with temperatures of up to 37°C in the city of Krasnoyarsk, local media reported.

Date created : 2017-06-22

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