France proposes congestion charges in big cities to tackle pollution
France could be introducing congestion charges for vehicles in cities for the first time.
Car drivers would have to pay a €2.50 (£2.20) toll in cities with more than 100,000 people, and €5 in bigger cities like Marseille, Nice and Lyon.
The proposed measure, outlined in a draft bill to "limit car traffic and fight against pollution", has faced opposition from some local authorities.
The "urban toll", which could charge larger vehicles like trucks as much as €20, would allow local authorities to decide on when and where the charge would apply.
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Congestion charges currently exist in the UK, Milan, Stockholm and Singapore.
Other measures of the draft bill include mandating bike owners to carry a proof of ownership, much like car registration.
This would tackle bike theft, the bill suggests, as a "certificate of ownership" would need to be issued to new owners in the case of selling or gifting a bike.
The bill also plans to establish new low-emission areas around some 20 cities by 2020 to restrict or ban highly polluting vehicles.
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Championed by government ministers, the legislation also looks to make train stations build secure bike parking and promote carpooling with dedicated lanes.
A car-driving nation?
Motorist groups have long opposed the idea of a congestion charge in cities, suggesting that some people cannot do without a car.
Local authorities have also proved less enthusiastic in embracing a congestion charge than the state.
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has repeatedly opposed a congestion charge in the capital. She appeared to soften her stance on Wednesday, suggesting she would be more willing to consider it if it was not discriminatory towards low-income households.
Cities like Toulouse and Marseille have also expressed blanket opposition, while Lyon has said it would not consider charging residents, but charging visitors instead.