Blue Environmental Zone Osnabrück – Planning
Since 2006 already, the city of Osnabrück struggles to respect the limits for nitrogen oxides and fine particles. For this reason, an environmental zone has been decided for Osnabrück in 2010. It covers big parts of the city centre. However, the annual medium values for nitrogen oxides emissions exceeded the limits by 20% to 50%. Therefore, Osnabrück is one of the cities that has been sued by the German association for environmental protection (Deutschen Umwelthilfe – DUH) on the non-compliance of air quality standards. Now, concrete actions are required.
In October 2017, a new air-quality plan is going to be published. Regarding the discussions related to Diesel vehicles and the judgement against the city of Stuttgart, the suggestion of a blue environmental zone is expected. This environmental zone would first stay theoretical and concern several axes of the city. However, it would be smaller than the existing green environmental zone. As the political parties CDU and FDP but also the Federation of citizens of Osnabrück (BOB) took part against this project, the planning process can easily take some more time. Nevertheless, the threatened action of the DUH might accelerate the whole process.
Nitrogen Oxides in Osnabrück - Information up to August 2017
In Osnabrück, we have the interesting situation of a civil movement acting against the introduction of an environmental zone. In 2017, the Federation of citizens of Osnabrück (BOB) even pleads for the abolition of the existing green environmental zone and suggests alternative measures which would make the traffic more fluid. Also, the BOB articulates its opposition to the blue NOx badge.
On the other hand, the city recognizes that already in 2016, 17 400 citizens were affected by the exceeding of air quality limits, which cause asthma, pulmonary diseases and functional cardiovascular disorders. For this reason, the city identified a real need for action and wants to conduct measures additional to the environmental zone, such as the improvement of the cycle path network and the traffic flow. Therefore, Osnabrück organised the first panel for e-mobility in 2016 and, according to its own information, the local transports company “Stadtwerke Osnabrück” has the most important electronic fleet all over Germany. However, concrete plans for the introduction of a blue environmental zone are expected within the air-quality plan appearing in October 2017.
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.