Blue Environmental Zone Stuttgart – Planning
In the early July 2017, the complaint of the German association for environmental protection (Deutschen Umwelthilfe – DUH) created a legal precedent in Stuttgart. The city was sued by the DUH for the non-compliance of nitrogen oxides limits. As the judge agreed with the prosecution on the need of implementing concrete measures, such as circulation restrictions for Diesel vehicles of specific Euro classes, the city is now under intense pressures. Measures must be taken by January 2018, otherwise, in case of non-compliance of the limit values, penalties will follow. Therefore, the State Minister of Baden-Württemberg wants to introduce the Blue Badge. Without such a badge, it would be impossible to distinguish clean Diesel vehicles from the more polluting ones, and the implementation of circulation restrictions would be non-feasible as well. As the city and the Land Baden-Württemberg are not allowed to introduce the Blue Badge on their own, the Federal Government’s agreement is still required. It will be discussed in October 2017. However, there are still controversies in Stuttgart. Indeed, rumors are published, either for or against appealing against the judicial verdict. As well as in Munich, the car-lobby has a strong influence in Stuttgart as the headquarters of Mercedes-Benz is located there.
Nitrogen Oxides in Stuttgart – Information until September 2017
The geographical location of Stuttgart is crucial for its air pollution problem. As the city is located in a basin, pollutant emissions are quickly concentrated and can hardly be spread. In Stuttgart, 6 fixed measuring stations are currently measuring nitrogen oxides emissions. They are regularly exceeded and reach up to 500% of the European limit values. Since they are particularly affected by high pollution rates, the stations of Hohenheimer Straße and Neckartor made themselves known. Regarding the high air pollution rates in Stuttgart and since entire main road axes are affected by high nitrogen oxide values, a blue environmental zone in Stuttgart might include a relatively large area.
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.