The green traffic ring in Athens is expected to be operational by next May, and will follow the lifting of the ban on diesel usage which was passed with a parliamentary amendment a few weeks ago.
The green ring will be established by a joint ministerial decision and is expected to be presented today in the committee of parliament by minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou, aiming at reducing the circulation of old cars and especially trucks, so that along with controls for the adulteration of fuels reduce the levels of pollution and improve the quality of the atmosphere.
The environment minister has argued that in its present form the ring has lost its environmental value and needs updating. The measure has been circumvented, since every family has a second car, while inactive controls lead everyone to the center.
The measures considered by the environment ministry will benefit all new generation vehicles that emit carbon dioxide at less than 140 g/km.
Officials are thinking to allow cars that have been initially registered before 1990 only on weekends and the hours that the small ring is not operational.
They will also prohibit traffic on the big ring for trucks from 2.2 to 12 tones, initially registered before 1992 (this is activated in exceptional cases where the limits of pollutants are exceeded).
Trucks over 12 tons and registered before 1992 will be prohibited to move throughout Attica, except from its highways, Attiki Odos and its ports (Piraeus, Lavrion, Rafina, Eleusis).
Papakonstantinou has relied on a study of the NTUA, whereby a possible ban on truck traffic would result in a reduction of over 60% of airborne particles.