Municipalities with an environmental zone may only allow buses with Euro-6 engines from 1 January 2021. In order to accommodate coach operators, the municipality of Amsterdam previously announced an exemption policy. The municipality of Utrecht will now follow.

Just before the corona crisis, the government decided to harmonize the environmental zones. This means that from 1 January 2021 in each environmental zone, only Euro-6 buses are allowed to drive. Three years later, from January 1 2025, the rules become even stricter and only zero-emission buses are still allowed in the environmental zones.

Busvervoer Nederland has previously indicated that it does not agree with this. Carlo Cahn believes that the jump from Euro-4 to Euro-6 is unreasonably large for coach companies. “As of November 19 people were still allowed to enter the city with a vehicle of a maximum of fifteen years old and exactly one year and two months later, on January 1st 2022, so this will be reduced to vehicles up to eight years old,” he wrote in a statement. blog for TaxiPro.

This largely ignores the Euro-5 emission class, which, according to Cahn, is a considerable destruction of capital. The date for the introduction of zero-emission coaches would also be unrealistic, because it is expected that there will be no conclusive business model for the vehicles in three years’ time.

The Amsterdam exemption policy In Amsterdam, among others, an exemption policy has already been announced for the period up to 2025. For example, a day exemption can be applied for a maximum of twelve times a year for a Euro-5 coach. Furthermore, an exemption can be requested when a replacement bus with emission class six or a zero-emission vehicle has been purchased, but has yet to be delivered.

In the case of special circumstances, such as In the absence of alternatives or the threat to the continuity of the company, coach operators in Amsterdam can also be granted an exemption. This can be granted a maximum of three times, each time for a maximum of one year.

Long-term or day exemption in Utrecht In the near future, coach operators in the municipality of Utrecht with an Emission-4 or Emission-5 coach will also be able to apply for a day exemption or a long-term exemption. This means that they will be allowed to drive in the environmental zone from the start of the new year. It is not possible to apply for an exemption for coaches with an emission class three or lower.

A long-term exemption is valid for a maximum of two years and can be extended once by two years. A number of conditions apply to this exemption. For example, it must be necessary to drive the vehicle in the environmental zone and the financial situation must not allow buying a cleaner vehicle. In addition, an exception is made to the rules for diesel-powered coaches that are forty years old or older and wheelchair-accessible coaches. The environmental zone remains accessible to them.

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