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The first Clean Transport Zone in Poland will operate in Warsaw from July 1

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Road revolution in the capital. Drivers, watch out for new signs. The Clean Transport Zone comes into effect on July 1. The first in Poland – so far without much fanfare. At first, it's just the city centre, a few percent of the city's area, and Warsaw is supposed to catch a deeper breath thanks to this. Some drivers are concerned, although the restrictions do not apply to residents who pay taxes in the capital.

Signs informing about the designated zone have already appeared. On July 1, the new law – the first of its kind in Poland – will come into effect. The Clean Transport Zone will cover most of the city centre and parts of the neighbouring districts, in particular a large part of the Praga-Północ and Praga-Południe districts. In total, 34 square kilometres, or about seven percent of the capital's area.

The designated area will not be accessible to petrol cars that are 27 years old or older, or diesel cars that are 19 years old or older. That's about three percent of all cars in the capital. It may not seem like much, but some drivers have become concerned.

Clean Transport Zone in WarsawGoogle Earth

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There are exceptions

The city authorities have provided many exceptions: all those who pay taxes in the capital, i.e. most residents, will still be able to enter the zone with old cars. There will also be exemptions for seniors and people with mobility disabilities. When will the Clean Transport Zone bring the first results? Not too soon.

– The really noticeable effect will be in 2028, when we expect a reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions by approximately half – says Bartosz Piłat, coordinator of the implementation of the Clean Transport Zone in Warsaw.

It's worth starting somewhere, because the air in Warsaw is terrible. – Concentrations of exhaust fumes and nitrogen oxides exceed permissible standards. Sometimes, when we measured them ourselves, even three times. Therefore, in cities such as Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, Poznan or the Silesian agglomeration, such a zone is recommended – says Piotr Siergiej from the Polish Smog Alarm.

READ ALSO: Polish children live in the most polluted cities in Europe. Hence the idea of ​​so-called school streets

Polish children live in the most polluted cities in Europe. Hence the idea of ​​so-called school streetsKatarzyna Górniak/Fakty TVN

More cities are preparing to introduce similar zones

Other cities, including Kraków and Wrocław, are preparing to create similar zones. An unauthorized driver who enters behind a special marking will face a 500 PLN fine.

– We also feel that this project is a pilot, a pilot at the level not only of Warsaw, but also of the entire country. I think a lot depends on him when it comes to implementing this type of projects in other cities – comments Łukasz Puchalski, director of the Municipal Roads Authority in Warsaw.

Doctors estimate that at least 50,000 people die in Poland each year due to poor air quality.

READ ALSO: Aleksander Miszalski, the new mayor of Krakow, delays the introduction of the Clean Transport Zone

Main image source: Google Earth

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