French “7 Year” ban scrapped

Many of you will remember that this time last year there was a great deal of hot air being blown over an alleged EU Proposal to ban bikes over 7 years old from urban centers. In fact the proposal was something put forward in France, and had nothing to do with the EU at all. Today, we’ve had some good news on that front from our friends  the French equivalent of MAG, the FFMC

Frédéric Jeorge of FFMC has been in touch to say:

We’ve mentionned that France was about to set up access restrictions to 8 majors cities, that would have included all two-wheelers older than 2004… Obviously, we weren’t very pleased with that and worked against it. We are thus very happy to hear that the new government has taken the road user’s arguments into account, and this discriminating project is dropped alltogether.
Frédéric – FFMC

We in MAG Ireland extend our congratulations to our French counterparts, whose tremendous efforts have now been rewarded. The scrapping of this unfair and unjust proposal shows that common sense can win out in the end.

The Link above is in French. The following translation is thanks to FEMA, source here:,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=319&cntnt01returnid=15

French Environment minister sends no-motorcycle zones to the compost heap

Good news for drivers’ and riders’ rights’ organisations FFMC and 40 Millions d’Automobilistes: the French Environment minister, Delphine Batho, has decided to scrap the “Priority Air Action Zones” (ZAPA) system on September 20th, following a meeting with the remaining candidate cities.

The ZAPA system was imagined in 2007 under the administration of Nicolas Sarkozy, as part of a broad environmental strategy. In order to improve air quality, it involved closing city centres to old vehicles – banning everything registered before 2004! Multiple consumer, driver and of course riders’ associations denounced what amounted to discrimination against lower incomes. None of the eight major cities tabled for the first experiments volunteered to be part of the scheme, and it was never implemented.

“An inter-ministry committee on air quality will work with the cities to built concrete solutions before next January”, Ms. Batho told Agence France Presse (AFP). “Many consider that measures restricting traffic would lead to social injustice, and would not be effective. Either I accepted failure, or decided to create a new programme based on the will of the government and the cities to work together.”

What now?

However, France is expected to introduce policies to reduce polluting emissions in urban areas: the European Commission has launched a legal procedure against France at the European Court of Justice on account of insufficient results in reducing thin particles, with many cities exceeding the allowed thresholds. Let’s hope that this time around, the voice of users’ associations will be heard.

This article was originally published in Moto Magazine and is available online here.


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