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ENVIRONMENT

Plan for 50km/h limit and lorry ban on Paris ring road

A 50km/h limit, no lorries and a dedicated carpool lane - that is the vision for Paris' famously traffic-choked ring road.

Plan for 50km/h limit and lorry ban on Paris ring road
The Paris péripherique. Photo: AFP

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has said that she plans to adopt all of the 40 proposals in a new report on the Paris périphérique, the city ring road that is frequently the scene of long traffic jams.

The proposals are in a report written by a cross-party group of politicians and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has now said that she wants to adopt all of them.

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A separate plan has also been put forward to turn the péripherique into a park. Artist's impression: Jigen

Speaking at an event in Porte de Lilas on Tuesday, said told French media: “The idea, in the long run, of transforming this urban highway into a peaceful urban boulevard is an idea we share.”

The frequently gridlocked ring road is often a frustrating driving experience, but its more serious consequence is the high levels of air pollution it produces.

Yesterday a legal case began of a mother and her daughter who are suing the French state over health problems caused by air pollution. The pair had lived in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Ouen, just outside the périphérique.

The speed on the ring road was reduced to 70 km/h in 2014, but now Anne Hidalgo says she is behind a move to lower it further to 50 km/h.

Other key recommendations in the report include a ban on heavy goods vehicles in transit, and a dedicated lane for public transport and carpooling.

There was also a suggestion to plant more vegetation on the walls and central reservations to cut noise and absorb some of the traffic fumes.

The mayor said: “For the 50 km/h limit, of course, we will work quickly with the authorities, since I cannot decide on this alone.

“We will engage in discussions with the police prefecture and the state. I hope they will follow us.”

She added that she hoped to have it in place before 2024, maybe even before 2020, when the next election for Paris mayor will take place.

One of her rivals in the mayoral race, Francois Hollande's former spokesmen Gaspard Gantzer, last week unveiled his own plan for the périphérique, which involves banning cars altogether and turning the route into a series of parks and green spaces.

Traffic would be diverted on to the A86, Paris' outer ringroad, under the €2 billion plan.

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ENVIRONMENT

Massive hornet-trapping campaign begins in south west France

Across south west France trapping campaigns have begun in an attempt to control the numbers of dangerous Asian hornets.

Massive hornet-trapping campaign begins in south west France

Trapping campaigns are organised annually at this time of year, as the weather begins to get warmer and queens begin to emerge from hibernation.

And the Charente-Maritime town of Royan Atlantique, on France’s west coast, is leading the way, as the below video shows.

Experts say that now is the time to begin using the traps, as catching queen hornets in the process of building their nests will lead to far fewer insects later in the year. 

Some 2,000 traps are installed in and around Royan this year, including 300 that were distributed to householders in the week of Valentine’s Day. 

Once installed, the traps can capture several dozen insects at a time.

In order to capture a maximum of hornet queens, traps should be installed between mid-February and mid-May. Especially since during this period, these predators end up coming out of their hibernation.

It is believed Asian hornets arrived in France around 2004. They have now spread nationwide.

Although their venom is not more powerful than that of normal bees or wasps, they are known to be more aggressive towards humans, and their stings can cause anaphylactic shock in allergic people.

The hornets also damage beehives and kill bees, damaging honey stocks and destroying the native ecosystem.

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