From next week, strict controls will be placed on car use in Paris during air pollution episodes. When levels of nitrogen oxides or ozone reach critical levels, the number of cars allowed into the French capital will be cut by half. On odd-numbered days, only cars whose number plates end with an odd number will be allowed through checkpoints set up around the city, and vice versa on even-numbered days. Public transport will be free of charge, as it has been during previous episodes. French environment minister Corinne Lepage announced the number plate controls in March, during a serious pollution episode. The ministry says the measure will be replaced, possibly on 1 January 1998, by a system of "green disks" for "less polluting" cars, which will be given preferential access and parking rights.
French environment ministry , tel: +33 1 42 19 20 21.
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