The ZPAd air protection zone of Isère / Grenoble
On 02.01.2018, an order was signed by the Prefect of the Department of Isère, which contains a set of measures that can be applied in case of air pollution peaks. They also include traffic restrictions based on the Crit’Air badge. The order became effective when signed. The new air protection zone complements the already existing air protection zones around the city of Grenoble, which is located in the area of Isère. Therefore, traffic restrictions are extended to a wider area.
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. ZPAd (zone de protection de l'air départementale) 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. This requires a separate individual order from the prefect or the local police. As a result, there can only be locally changing traffic restrictions within the ZPAd Isère, to which car owners must adapt.
Isère is one of 12 departments (Department no. 38) in the Auvergne-Rhônes-Alpes region and has about 1,251,000 inhabitants on approximately 7,430 km². Grenoble with its 161,000 inhabitants on an area of 18 km² is the district town of Isère, where the prefect has its seat.
According to the regional institution for air quality “ATMO Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes”, there are regular air pollution peaks in the Department of Isère, mostly in the winter. Therefore, in accordance with the prefectural order n°38-2018-01-02-004, a temporary environmental zone has now been introduced, which becomes mandatory for all vehicles in case of persistent air pollution.
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 provides a set of measures in several stages. After a pre-warning, the first pollution alarm („niveau d’alerte N1“) is activated. This happens 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, after two days, one of the abovementioned pollutant values still exceeds the indicated values, then the second pollution alarm („niveau d’alerte N2“) is activated with driving restrictions, in which only vehicles equipped with the Crit’Air badge classes E, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 are allowed to drive during the two days of the alarm.
If the second stage of alarm lasts more than two days, a traffic restriction for all vehicles equipped with a Crit’Air badge classes 4 and 5 will follow.
After the first two stages, the Prefect can also declare a third stage of alarm, which is an aggravation of the second stage (the official definition is „niveau N2 aggravé“). In this third stage, the Prefect can also ban more Crit‘Air badge classes from traffic.
Special rules for pollution levels
In the third stage („niveau N2 aggravé“), the Prefect, in accordance with his order, may ban an unknown number of Crit‘Air badge classes from traffic in a defined area of his department. In this regard, there is no certainty which Crit’Air badge class is allowed to drive in case of an air pollution peak. However, the Crit‘Air badge classes E, 1 and 2 are not likely to be affected by traffic restrictions.
The borders of the environmental zone of Isère
Generally, the border of a ZPAd zone in France is set in the order of the respective Prefect.
The Isère is divided into three geographical areas called “Aerial Basins”: The basin of Lyon and North Isère, the basin of Grenoble and the Alpine basin of Isère. While traffic restrictions within the basin of Lyon and North Isère as well as in the Alpine basin of Isère can be applied everywhere, driving restrictions within the basin of Grenoble, according to the order, are limited to the air protection zone ZPA of Grenoble.
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.