Tallinn mulling 'clean air zone' to ban old cars from city center

Traffic in Tallinn.
Traffic in Tallinn. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

A clean air zone may be created in Tallinn's Keslinn district (City Center) in the future to help the capital city reach its greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.

A low emission zone has been put forward for consideration during preparations for the district's general plan, Tallinn Deputy Mayor Madle Lippus (SDE) told ERR.

It would see cars over 20 years old, which create more pollution, banned from certain areas of the district. Alternatively, drivers of these cars could pay a fee to drive in the zone, Lippus said.

Tallinn wants to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and this is seen as one way which can help reach the target.

"We have to think about how it is possible to do this. And one of the measures is to create a clean air area," said Lippus.

It is not yet known which areas of Kesklinn this could apply to or how cars could be checked. Lippus said the idea is still in an early phase.

"It depends on the realilty of the situation, that is, where we have problem points in Tallinn and what the most reasonable way to create a positive situation is. This is an idea and part of a long-term plan. /.../ When we know more, it will certainly be up for wider discussion," she said.

The draft general plan, which covers a five-year period, should be completed next spring. "This will be the first time the general public can give feedback," the deputy mayor said.

"In the context of Kesklinn, the focus is definitely on improving possibilities to walk and cycle. Since there is a network of streets and there is little space, it requires reassigning the street space between different types of movement anyway," she said.

Another key aim is to modernize public transport and improve public spaces.

Tallinn has already put forward plans to limit traffic speeds to 40 kilometers per hour in the district.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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