Stockholm has announced plans to become the first big capital city to ban petrol and diesel cars from its centre, in an effort to slash pollution and reduce noise.
From 2025, 20 blocks of Stockholm’s inner city area, spanning its finance and main shopping districts, will be restricted to electric vehicle traffic only. A decision on whether to expand the zone will be made in early 2025.
Announcing the plan, Lars Stromgren, the city’s vice-mayor for transport, said: “Nowadays, the air in Stockholm causes babies to have lung conditions and the elderly to die prematurely. We need to eliminate the harmful exhaust gases from petrol and diesel cars. That’s why we are introducing the most ambitious low-emission zone to date.”
A number of cities have introduced – or are introducing – schemes to try to tackle air pollution but Stockholm’s goes further than most. Paris, Athens and Madrid have only banned diesel cars, and London has a charging scheme that covers the most polluting combustion engines.