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Warsaw. Sebastian Kaleta criticizes the Clean Transport Zone, and he himself voted for its introduction to the act

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Deputy Minister of Justice Sebastian Kaleta (Sovereign Poland) criticizes the introduction of the Clean Transport Zone in Warsaw. The expert pointed out to him that during the process of amending the Act on electromobility and alternative fuels, the politician voted “for” the possibility of creating zones by municipalities.

City Monday The city hall summed up the three-month consultations on the introduction of the Clean Transport Zone in Warsaw. Over three thousand comments were received. Officials indicate that 70 percent of the residents of the capital who took part in the consultations support the planned changes. These would come into force in just over a year, on July 1, 2024.

Criticized and voted “yes”

The introduction of the zone in the capital is strongly criticized by Deputy Minister of Justice Sebastian Kaleta (Sovereign Poland), a former Warsaw councillor. “Rafał Trzaskowski’s proposal deprives hundreds of thousands of Warsaw residents of the right to own a car from next year,” Kaleta wrote on Twitter. “50,000 cars are registered in the 5 districts covered by the SCT no-entry zone from July 2024. Over 100,000 residents will not be able to leave their properties. Warsaw residents covered by the ban will lose the ability to reach schools, hospitals, courts or work” – said the politician.

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Piotr Wołejko, an expert in socio-economic issues at the Federation of Polish Entrepreneurs, reacted to Kaleta’s entry. “It’s fascinating because you voted ‘FOR’ (item 81 on the attached list) allowing municipalities to introduce such zones, supporting the government’s amendment to the Electromobility Act. As I understand it, you didn’t think it through then and now you feel remorse?” – wrote in the commentary to Kaleta Wołejko’s entry. He also showed a link and a screenshot from the Sejm’s website, where you can see how individual deputies voted.

The minister is wrong

Then Kaleta published another entry in which he accused the expert of lying. “You are stating untruth. This amendment did not introduce the possibility of creating zones (which existed before), but indicated the possibility of creating flexible exclusions of entry to it in the event of its establishment” – wrote Kaleta.

Here, however, it must be pointed out that it is the deputy minister who is not telling the truth. Clean transport zones were introduced by the amendment to the Act on electromobility and alternative fuels in December 2021 (signed by the President). Clean transport zones are mentioned in Articles 39 and 40 of the Act.

“The amended Articles 39 and 40, as we read in the explanatory memorandum (p. 30) of the government’s draft amendment, ‘contain solutions allowing municipalities to use the tool of creating zones more conveniently and effectively,'” wrote Piotr Wołejko. The expert also quoted a fragment of page 2 of this justification: “(…) it was decided to leave the commune authorities with a lot of discretion in terms of detailed solutions regarding the zone, assuming that local authorities know the needs of a given commune best and how they can be addressed by creating a zone”

In the next entry, Kaleta stated: “The problem is that in Rafał Trzaskowski’s project there is no exclusion for entering your own property, people registered in the zone or, for example, going to the hospital in the zone. You can, only 4 times a year, for with the consent of the Municipal Police.

The facts are that the draft resolution on SCT in Warsaw is still being prepared. The town hall is at the stage of analyzing the comments submitted in the course of consultations. At the moment, even the exact boundaries of the zone have not been defined. As we informed during the start of the consultation, the city hall proposes that the zone should cover most of Śródmieście, parts of Wola, Ochota, and on the other side of the Vistula Saska Kępa, part of Praga Północ and Południe. Its extension to a much larger area of ​​the city is postulated by e.g. environmental activists. – After the completion of the analyzes regarding the determination of the new area of ​​the zone, the draft resolution on the introduction of the SCT will be submitted to the Council of Warsaw for discussion. We estimate that we need a few more weeks to finally define the boundaries of the SCT – said on Monday Tamas Dombi, director of the Road Traffic Management Office in Warsaw.

What is a clean transport zone?

The clean transport zone is a separate area where only vehicles that meet the relevant exhaust emission standards (professionally referred to as Euro standards) can move. These standards are directly linked to the vehicle’s production date. In Poland, until recently, there were no regulations enabling the creation of such zones, but they have been functioning in Europe for a long time – currently there are over 320 of them, the largest number in Germany and Italy. The first city to adopt a resolution on the implementation of such a solution is Kraków.

The City Hall analyzes show that the introduction of the first stage (in 2024) will concern two percent of cars, and in subsequent stages – 9, 16, 23 and 27 percent. In the first phase, the restriction of entry to the SCT would apply to non-Euro 2 petrol vehicles (older than 27 years) and non-Euro 4 diesel vehicles (over 18 years old). Later, consistently every two years, the requirements for exhaust emission standards for cars moving in the zone will be increased.

According to the data contained in the government’s Clean Air program, poor air quality is responsible for 45,000 premature deaths in Poland. In turn, scientists from Harvard alarm that these deaths may be more than twice as many – about 93.8 thousand.

Meanwhile, the zones introduced in many cities have clearly contributed to improving air quality. The emission of poisonous nitrogen oxides fell in Madrid by 32 percent, London – by 26 percent, and in Berlin – by 20 percent.

Main photo source: PAP

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