Ostrava will not introduce the low emission zone for now

Ostrava will not introduce the low emission zone which would prevent cars, not observing the determined emission norms, entering the City Centre. The study has indicated that such provision would not have an important influence on the air quality. However, the City considers the possibility to introduce a regulation which would mean some limits at times of smog alerts.

 “A year ago, we were discussing the possibilities of the introduction of low emission zones in Ostrava. The study result has indicated that the introduction of the low emission zones in Ostrava would not have for now the required effect,” said the City Mayor Tomáš Macura.

In the case of particulates PM 10, it has been found that the provision would result, in the annual average, in the decrease by roughly 0.7 micro grams per cubic metre. The actual annual average concentration of PM 10 is in the City Centre, according to Macura, 35 to 37 micro grams per cubic metre.

“The low emission zone means the provision of a permanent nature and it would prevent vehicles of lower emission classes entering the City Centre whole year round,” said Macura. Considering the low efficiency and, at the same time, the costs of creation of the low emission zone, the City has decided on non introduction of the provision yet.

According to Macura, the City wishes to asses and possibly put in place a Regulation Code.

“This is a provision regulating traffic only when smog alerts occur. Our plan is to have this study finalised so we would be able to put the Regulation Code into practice in the next winter season,” said the Mayor.

The Regulation Code could, for example, prevent vehicles over six tons from entering, or it would allow cars having the odd or even number plates, or the public transport would be free of charge during the smog alert days, it would lower the allowed speed limits, etc. The study, which should not cost more than a million crowns and should be prepared by an expert company, should indicate the impacts. The City will make a decision on the introduction of the Regulation Code only on the basis of the study results. According to the Mayor, no Czech city has introduced it yet.

There is a persistent bad air quality in Ostrava and in a significant part of the region.  The air pollution has been caused not only by the industry, the transport and the household heating, but also by pollutants coming from the neighbouring Poland.