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Brussels low-emissions zone confirmed from next year

22:36 28/09/2017

Diesel cars made before 1997 will be banned throughout Brussels from next January, when a low-emissions zone covering the entire region will come into force.

The ban will apply to Belgian and foreign-registered vehicles and will be extended to apply to more vehicles each year until 2025.

By 2019, the only diesel cars allowed on the road will be those that meet the Euro 4 emission standard which dates from 2006. Petrol vehicles pre-2001 will also be banned from 2019.

Drivers will have the right to use a banned vehicle for up to eight days a year, on payment of a €35-a-day tax. Exemptions will apply for priority vehicles, including those providing transport for the elderly or disabled.

Greenpeace Belgium's air quality campaigner Joeri Thijs said confirmation of the low-emissions zone was a positive first step in improving "the capital's particularly unhealthy air quality".

But he added: "If the Brussels government is genuinely concerned about people's health, it should ban all diesel vehicles as soon as possible."

Unlike in Paris and Lyon, where cars must display a sticker showing their emissions rating, Brussels will enforce the ban using number-plate recognition cameras linked to the vehicle registration database.