Thomas Grätz (BZP): “A political solution is needed in the debate about driving bans in German inner cities. The taxi industry demands a sensible political solution.”

Thomas Grätz (BZP): “A political solution is needed in the debate about driving bans in German inner cities. The taxi industry demands a sensible political solution.”

Thomas Grätz, is a lawyer and managing director of the German Taxi Private Hire Association (BZP) e.V.

Feb. 22, 2018 is marked on my calendar. A single sentence from the Federal Administrative Court could turn our lives upside down. It is about driving bans in German inner cities. In September 2016, the Düsseldorf Administrative Court ruled on a case that made headlines. Deutsche Umwelthilfe had filed a lawsuit with regard to the limits for harmful nitric oxide. The judges were of the opinion that the clean air plan of Dusseldorf had to be supplemented with driving bans – in order not to exceed these limits.

What does this mean for the taxi industry if the Federal Administrative Court confirms the first instance? However: Whatever the judges decide a political solution has to be found. First, it can not be that we have to balance mobility and health. Second, inescapable exemptions can not be a permanent solution. Who wants to decide whether a patient should be transported to the hospital for immediate hospitalization while the dialysis patient has to wait until the air is clean again?

And thirdly, it must not be that we are not bringing forward-looking technologies to a mass start, because a minority believes that supermarkets can only be supplied with bicycles? The taxi association BZP has passed a much-noticed resolution. Mobility should not be a game of chance in the future. Among other things, we call on the car industry to classify or reclassify the diesel vehicles sold for use as taxis and rental cars immediately after Euro 6d or Euro 6d.

Where this is not possible, financial incentives for the exchange to low-emission vehicles must be forthcoming. It needs practicable models at affordable prices! If driving bans become inevitable, temporary derogations are just as inevitable. There is no way around the e-car either. But it will not work without improved loading times and infrastructure and support. That is why we are calling for a state-backed “economic stimulus program for electromobility”!

* This column first appeared in the Mittelbayerische Zeitung.

  • Thomas Grätz: “A political solution is needed in the debate about driving bans in German inner cities. The taxi industry demands a sensible political solution.”

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