Blue Environment Zone in Berlin – Current Plans
Following the decision from the Conference of Environment Ministers on 07.04.2016 to introduce the Blue Badge in Germany right now discussions begin in each of the affected cities with increased particle limits about the introduction of a blue-environment zone.
For this reason, in the near future large sections of downtown Berlin could be closed for almost all diesel vehicles. This would especially apply to parts of the city with particularly bad air, which then would get even a tighter access restrictions. According to Martin Pallgen, spokesman for the Senate Department for Transport this Blue environmental zones, which need not be congruent with the existing environmental zones, will not be closed for Euro 6 vehicles. That is according to his comment in the newspaper Berliner Morgenpost. A certain time frame for the introduction of the Blue Environmental Zone is not yet in sight. However, an appropriate regulation could take effect later this year, already rumoured earlier by Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary, Federal Ministry for the Environment on 04/07/2016.
Nitrogen Oxides in Berlin - Information up to March 2016
According to latest statements of November 2015, the Environmental Senate of Berlin is against the introduction of the Blue Nitrogen Oxide Badge and no appropriate changes are planned for the time coming.
Consequently it is appropriate to consider that the Blue Badge for special NOx reduced vehicles will not be found in the priority list within the next coming 12 months.
Certainly also the VW scandal contributed to this decision. The senate has hardly a chance to remove those vehicles quickly from the city centre which are concerned from too high nitrogen levels in real operation. An estimated part of up to 80% of all present diesel vehicles would be affected.
The Berlin Environmental Authorities draw the attention to the fact that nitrogen emission has been reduced to approximately 20% since the introduction of the environmental area inside the Berlin city railroad ring in 2008. This happened because the town of Berlin decided to promote more and more the expansion of buses, railroad, and bicycle traffic which lead to a reduction of the traffic volume.
The blue nitrogen badge
The introduction of the Blue Badge was adopted on 04.07.2016. In special environmental zones no later than 2017 vehicles with the blue nitrogen badge may only retract. More info here.