The ZPA Air Protection Zone of Toulouse
On 26.10.2017, an order was signed by the Prefect of the Department of the Haute-Garonne, introducing the Crit’Air Vignette in the city of Toulouse. The order contains a set of measures that can be applied in case of an air pollution peak. This ZPA air protection zone will come into effect only upon a weather related announcement by the competent prefect.
Toulouse is also the district town of the Department of the Haute-Garonne (no. 31), where the prefect also resides. The city is located in the region of Occitanie and counts over 472,000 on an area of about 118 km².
Toulouse is the industrial centre of the region Occitanie due to the international Airport of Blagnac, the major Airbus factories and a flourishing chemical industry. Therefore, the region suffers high air pollution which usually increases during the winter months. Even though, air quality values are quite stable within the ring road in the urban areas, however, ozone values regularly exceed the fixed limits.
In order to be prepared for any pollution peak, a temporary environmental zone (ZPA) has been introduced in the city of Toulouse, which became mandatory from 01.12.2017 for all vehicles in the event of persistent air pollution, in accordance with the prefectural order N°31-2017-10-26-006 (12 MB) of 26.10.2017.
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, measures will be enforced, 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 ZPA environmental zones 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 vehicles with insufficient badge classes can be excluded.
The Borders of the ZPA Environmental Zone of Toulouse
The ZPA environmental zone covers large parts of the city and its borders follow the ring road “périphérique”.
As far as the borders of the environmental zone are concerned, it is important to know that the ring roads (A62, A61, A620) are not included in the environmental zone. Therefore, the according highways can be used during sudden air pollution peaks.
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.