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Paris Set To Restrict Car Use After Pollution Hits High Levels

Update Date: Mar 17, 2014 10:36 AM EDT
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Only half of city's drivers will be allowed on Paris roads on any given day which will be decided via schemes based on number plates. The restriction comes into effect after pollution hit dangerous levels.  

Motorists whose cars have odd-numbered registration plates will be allowed to drive. 

The traffic in French capital will be monitored by hundreds of police as the major restrictions go into effect on Monday. 

The restriction of this kind was tried once before in 1997. Pairs air quality monitoring body Airparif said it recorded a noticeable impact on improving air after such restrictions, although other critics questioned the findings. 

The exceptions are for electric hand hybrid vehicles and for cars that carry three or more passengers, reported BBC

Last week on Friday, public transport was made free of charge for three days in an attempt to encourage people to leave their personal vehicles at home. 

According to French environmental agencies, Paris air quality has been one of the worst on record and it is rivaling the Chinese capital Beijing which is one of the world's most polluted cities. 

On Friday, pollution levels hit 180 microgrammes of PM10 particulates per cubic metre, more than double the safe limit of 80, reported BBC

Meanwhile, Parisians have started grumbling about the government's decision. 

"How will I get to work?" said a Warehouse worker Jean Sanglier who lives in the eastern Paris suburb of Chelles and drives to work in Neuilly-Plaisance, eight kilometres to the west, according to The Guardian. "It takes 20 minutes by road, and one and a half hours on public transport." He added that if he is fined, "it's my boss who's going to have to pay."

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