The air protection zone ZPAd of Loiret / Orléans
On 16.11.2017, an order was signed by the Prefect of the Department of Loiret introducing the Crit´Air Vignette within the department, which then came into force on the same date. The order contains a set of measures that can be applied in case of an air pollution peak to certain vehicle types and EURO classes. 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 described, in which the weather-dependent zone comes into force. A ZPAd (zone de protection de l'air départementale) is no local or regional air protection zone with clearly defined limits (ZPA), it applies to a whole department where driving restrictions can be temporary imposed. This requires a separate prefectural order after consultation with the Head of Safety in the West of France (“Zone Ouest”). As a result, within the ZPAd zone of Loiret, locally changing traffic restrictions may be imposed immediately, to which the vehicle owner must comply.
The Loiret (Department n° 45) is one of the 6 departments in the Center-Val de Loire region and has 673,000 inhabitants on an area of approximately 6,800 km². Orléans, with its 115,000 inhabitants on an area of 27 km², is the district town of the Loiret, where the Prefect has its seat.
Although Center-Val de Loire is not one of the French regions that is particularly affected by periods of air pollution, it is important to be prepared at all times, should such an event occur. For this reason, a temporary environmental zone has now been introduced in the Department of Loiret with its district town Orléans, which will become mandatory for all vehicles in the event of persistent air pollution, in accordance with the prefectural order of 16.11.2017.
Any violation of the badge requirement or traffic restrictions will be punished with a fine of 68 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 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 „Lig Air“, 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, otherwise (depending on the urgency and the occurrence of the local pollution peak) the second pollution alarm is immediately activated.
Depending on the intensity and duration of the pollution peak, after a consultation with the Head of Safety of the “Zone Ouest”, further optional measures with traffic restrictions may be applied in this second stage. These regulations can occur on the Crit´Air Vignette basis („circulation différenciée). The prefect may therefore exclude vehicles without a Crit´Air badge and the Crit´Air badge classes 4 and 5 from circulation.
Special rules for pollution levels
As far as the Department of Loiret is concerned, it is only in the event of an air pollution peak that it is communicated whether it is necessary to have a Crit´Air badge and, in addition, if the Crit´Air badges 4 and 5 can be excluded from circulation.
The borders of the environmental zone of Loiret
Generally, the border of a ZPAd zone in France is set in the order of the respective Prefect.
In this case, however, the entire area of the Department of Loiret may be affected. Only in case of an air pollution peak, the exact extension of the zone affected by traffic restrictions is defined in an additional separate order, which can be issued within a day.
In any case, it should be noted that, in the event of an air pollution alarm, the highways A10 (between Paris and Bordeaux through Orléans and Tours), the A19 (from and to Sens), the A71 (from and to Clermont-Ferrand) and the A77 (from and to Nevers) may 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.