The ZPAd air protection zone of Hérault / Montpellier
On 04.08.2017, an order was signed by the Prefect of the Department of Hérault introducing the Crit’Air Vignette within the department. The order contains a set of measures that can be applied in case of an air pollution peak. However, the peculiarity lies in the fact that, in the event of an air pollution peak, only the city or municipality within the department is named, in which the weather-dependent zone comes into force.
A ZPAd (regional air protection zone) is no local or regional air protection zone with clearly defined limits (ZPA), but it applies to a whole department where driving restrictions can be temporarily imposed.
The Prefect of the Department of Hérault determines which cities and municipalities are affected and to which extent. As a result, within the ZPAd zone of Hérault, local, time-limited and variable driving restrictions may be imposed, to which the vehicle owner must comply.
The Department of Hérault (Department n° 34) is one of the 13 departments of the Occitanie region which has more than 1,107,000 inhabitants on an area of approximately 6,200 km². The capital of the Department of Hérault is Montpellier, which has a population of about 278,000 inhabitants on an area of 57 km², where the prefect also resides.
In order to be prepared for any pollution peak, a temporary environmental zone has now also been introduced in the Department of Hérault, which is mandatory for all vehicles in the event of persistent air pollution, in accordance with the prefectural order of 04.08.2017.
Any violation of the badge requirement or traffic restrictions will be punished with a fine from 68 up to 375 euros; if paying directly on site a little less. These fines are based on the articles L.325-1 to L.325-3 and R.411-19 of the French Road Traffic Code.
In case of an air pollution peak, the Prefecture of the Department provides a set of measures divided into several phases. After a pre-warning with no impact on road traffic, the first air pollution alarm is activated. This occurs if, based on the daily or hourly measurement of the responsible institution for air quality, the emission level of 50/80 μg / m³ for particulate matter or 180/240 μg / m³ for ozone or 300/500 μg / m³ for sulphur dioxide or 200/400 μg / m³ for nitrogen dioxide has been exceeded. As a result, the road speed within the ZPAd environmental zone has to be reduced by 20 km/h.
If, in the following days, one of the abovementioned pollutant values still exceeds the indicated values, then traffic restrictions can be applied to all vehicles. Then, vehicles without a Crit’Air Vignette as well as special Crit’Air categories can be excluded.
The borders of the environmental zone of Hérault
In this case, only some areas of the Department of Hérault may be affected by traffic restrictions. Only in the case of an air pollution peak, the prefect will communicate with a press release the exact extension of the area affected by concrete traffic restrictions.
In any case, it should be noted that in the event of an air pollution alarm, the highways A9 (to and from Perpignan and Orange) and A75 (to and from Clermont-Ferrand) could be affected.
Table overview of the environmental zone
What are ZCR, ZPA and ZPAd environmental zones in France?
What are ZCR, ZPA and ZPAd environmental zones in France and how do they work? What does this mean for foreign drivers and how the Green-Zones app be of help? You can find the answers in the menu under French environmental zones.