Tanel Kiik (Center), who is set to become deputy mayor of Tallinn, with responsibility for managing transport in the capital, is not in favor of proposals to ban older cars from the city center as a means of reducing air pollution.
"In my opinion, this particular proposal sounds rudimentary," Kiik told Vikerraadio on Monday morning. "Efforts must be made to achieve clean air in the city, but, above all, this will be helped by (the provision of) convenient public transport."
Kiik added that when taking such radical decisions, the options available for those less-well-off members of society must also be taken into account. "So that the capital is not just a place where only wealthy people live," said Kiik.
Last week it was revealed that the City of Tallinn is considering suggestions to introduce a 'clean air zone' in the city center. A proposal put forward ahead of the district's general plan, suggested banning the use of cars which are more than 20 years old in some of the city's central areas. Alternatively, users of older cars could be required to pay a fee in order to drive in the dsitrict.
Another of Tallinn's deputy mayors, Madle Lippus (SDE), whose responsibilities relate to urban planning in the city, told ERR that the idea is based on aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city by 40 percent by 2030.
The idea itself is quite simple. The use of older cars, and those emitting higher levels of pollution, would be restricted or banned in an area of the city which could cover an entire central district or neighborhood.
Details surrounding how the proposal could be realized in practice have yet to be established, with challenges including the need to evaluate the condition of cars using the 'clean air zone' on a continual basis.
Former Health and Labor Minister Kiik, will take up his new post as one of Tallinn's six deputy mayors in late August or early September, with timing dependent on the work schedule of the mayor and Tallinn City Council.
Kiik will take over the responsibilities of outgoing deputy mayor Andrei Novikov, who recently stepped from the position he had held since 2017. Novikov also quit the Center Party in order to take up a seat on the board of the capital's transport authority, Tallinna Linnatransport (TLT).
Editor: Michael Cole