The ZCR/ZFE environmental zone of Grand Paris
Since 01.07.2019, a further environmental zone (ZFE Grand Paris) has been established in the greater Paris area, which essentially corresponds to the area within the A86 ring road.
The environmental zone of Grand Paris, which was approved by a large majority of the council of the Metropole of Paris on 12.11.2018, is a permanent, fixed zone not dependent on weather conditions („Zone à Faibles Emissions“ / ZFE) which corresponds to a Low Emission Zone (LEZ). With the introduction of the ZFE Grand Paris, the previously used ZCR term for a French environmental zone (Zone à Circulation Restreinte) is currently being converted to the ZFE term.
Over the next few years, the ZFE Grand Paris is to apply in all 79 municipalities and communities of Grand Paris. At the time of 01.07.2019, however, only 47 of the 79 municipalities have agreed to take part, so that first of all a huge new patchwork of cities and municipalities with different regulations (environmental zones) has been created.
The now 47 municipalities of the new Grand Paris ZFE environmental zone have agreed on common rules and exemptions. In addition, a timetable has also been adopted to further tighten driving bans.
The names and areas of the participating municipalities were published in the media on 26.06.2019. Accordingly, from 01.07.2019 only vehicles with Crit’Air Vignette E, 1, 2, 3 and 4 are allowed to enter the new zone from Monday to Friday between 8 am and 8 pm. Driving without a badge or with a Crit’Air vignette 5 is prohibited. For trucks (N2, N3) and buses, the ban applies on weekends and public holidays from 8 am to 8 pm.
It is also scheduled that vehicles with Crit’Air 4 will be definitively excluded from traffic from January 2021. Subsequently, Crit’Air 3 will be excluded from traffic from July 2022 and Crit’Air 2 from January 2024.
This timetable will ensure that, from January 2021 the same rules will apply in the environmental zone of Grand Paris as in the ZCR environmental zone of the city of Paris. However, a uniform regulation can only be achieved if the remaining municipalities have also joined the environmental zone by this time.
If this is the case, it appears that additional surveillance by automated camera systems is planned within and at the borders of the metropolitan area of Paris.
In total, the area of Grand Paris (Métropole du Grand Paris) including the city of Paris includes 131 municipalities and has about 7 million inhabitants on an area of approximately 815 km². As of 01.07.2019, about 5.61 million inhabitants in 47 municipalities around the city of Paris are affected by the new zone.
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.
It is currently planned that no fines will be imposed in the environmental zone of Grand-Paris before the end of 2021 and that car drivers who have committed an infringement will be persuaded by means of pedagogical methods.
However, this does not mean any security from high fines, since the environmental zone of Grand-Paris is affected by the weather-dependent Paris Zone ZPAZPA environmental zone of Paris. In this zone many driving bans for Crit’Air Vignettes 5, 4 and 3 are imposed every year. In particular, this leads to massive driving bans in the summer months, which affect about 60% of all vehicles.
On 01.09.2015, a permanent ZCR environmental zone of Paris was introduced in the city of Paris within the Boulevard Périphérique inner city ring, in which from 01.07.2017 a Crit'Air vignette was also mandatory for all vehicles.
Currently, the rules have been tightened again on 01.07.2019 and only vehicles with the Crit'Air vignette E, 1, 2 and 3 are allowed to enter the zone. In concrete terms, this means that passenger cars, light commercial vehicles N1 registered before 01.01.2001, as well as trucks and buses registered before 01.10.2006, have now also been finally banned from entering the zone.
The borders of the environmental zone of Grande Paris
Originally, the zone was supposed to affect all 79 municipalities, most of which are located within the A86 highway. However, since no municipality is obliged to implement the rule of the zone, the rules only apply in 47 of the 79 municipalities. The resulting map of the environmental zone, which looks like a patchwork zone, is provided by Green-Zones in its app. The map thus shows the validity of the environmental zone of Grand Paris in many (but not all) municipalities within the A86 and some outside the A86, as well as the two city forests "Bois de Boulogne" and "Bois de Vincennes" of the city of Paris.
The busy A86 ring road is exempt from the Grand Paris ZCR/ZFE zone regulations. In any case, the Paris ring road Boulevard Périphérique, which is outside the ZCR zone of Paris, is now inside the Grand Paris ZCR/ZFE zone.
The permanent Grand Paris ZCR/ZFE Zone should not be confused with the permanent ZCR Zone of Paris, where even stricter rules apply, and the temporary ZPA Zone of Paris, which often comes into force with weather-related air pollution and whose driving bans and rules “override” the rules of the other two zones.
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.