The ZPAd air protection zone of Pyrénées-Atlantiques / Pau
On 05.04.2017, an order was signed by the Prefect of the Department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques 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 Pyrénées-Atlantiques determines which cities and municipalities are affected and to which extent. As a result, within the ZPAd zone of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, local, time-limited and variable driving restrictions may be imposed, to which the vehicle owner must comply.
The Department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (Department n° 64) is one of the 12 departments of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region which has more than 670,000 inhabitants on an area of approximately 7,600 km². The capital of the Department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques is Pau, which has a population of about 77,200 inhabitants on an area of 32 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 Pyrénées-Atlantiques, which is mandatory for all vehicles in the event of persistent air pollution, in accordance with the prefectural order n°64-2017-04-05-001 of 05.04.2017.
Any violation of the badge requirement or traffic restrictions will be punished with a fine of 68 to 375 Euro; 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. The vehicles without a Crit’Air badge and with the Crit’Air class 5 will be first excluded from traffic. Should the pollutant values still exceed the limit values, the vehicles with the Crit’Air class 4 would be then excluded from traffic.
Additional alternative measures could also be applied in order to prohibit the use of even and odd license plates on one day.
The borders of the environmental zone of Pyrénées-Atlantiques
In this case, some areas of the Department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques 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 A64 (to Bayonne and Toulouse) and A65 (from and to Bordeaux) 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.