Mobility  |  Successes  |  30.08.2011

Cutting emmissions through revising Paris's goods transport policy

When taking charge of goods transport in Paris in 2001, Green politician Denis Baupin was tasked with improving the transit of 32 million tonnes of goods each year (90% by road, 7% by water and 3% by train). A project was initiated to develop a comprehensive goods transport policy for Paris and its region: redefining goods transport in the city, and promoting alternatives to road transport in order to improve urban life and reach environmental goals.

In regards to the transport of goods, restrictions were introduced which prevent either very large vehicles, or vehicles not conforming to a certain standard of fuel efficiency from using the city’s roads during peak periods. The city encouraged enterprises to sign up to a “charter of best practice”, which included a number of steps that firms could take to reduce air and noise pollution. The city also began consultation on developing alternative infrastructure to roads, such as inland waterways, rail and cycle lanes.

Driven by Denis Baupin, “La Petite Reine” project which uses electrically-assisted tricycles to deliver packages weighing less than 30kg, has already saved 200 tonnes of CO2 emissions, and is steadily expanding. The company specialises in the delivery of small packages in densely urbanised areas and benefits from increased manoeuvrability and lower energy costs.

Paris is currently working on opening a large waterway, which would link the capital city with the highly developed waterway network of northern Europe.

Before the Greens became responsible for this aspect of Parisian public policy, very little action had taken place in the goods transportation sector. Little technical data had been collected on the sector and very little was known about the impacts of road transport on the Parisian urban environment. However, the greens were able to tackle the political inertia and make real changes in this area.

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