Oslo authorities to temporarily ban diesel vehicles amid air pollution fears

The ban comes into effect tomorrow and is expected to last at least two days

Oslo authorities to temporarily ban diesel vehicles amid air pollution fears

File photo. Picture by Jacques Brinon AP/Press Association Images

Authorities in Oslo are putting a temporary ban on diesel vehicles in place on the city's roads over the coming days.

It comes amid fears of high air pollution this week, with the ban expected to be in effect for at least two days.

According to TheLocal, the ban is being put in place following forecasts for cold weather and low winds. The weather is expected to lead to significant 'exhaust pollution' in large areas of the Norwegian capital.

Drivers who fail to adhere to the ban - which will be in place between 6am and 10pm - face a 1,500 kroner (€200) fine.

Exceptions to the ban include for official city vehicles, emergency transport, and vehicles travelling to & from ferry terminals.

In a statement, Oslo authorities said: "On some days in winter, the pollution from exhausts in Oslo is so high that children with respiratory disease (asthma, bronchitis) and adults with severe cardiac, vascular or respiratory illnesses should reduce outdoor activities and not stay in the most polluted areas.

"Diesel cars have the highest exhaust emissions of NO2 [nitrogen dioxide] and therefore [we are implementing] the ban on diesel cars [...] The purpose of the diesel ban is to improve air quality and therefore also reduce the burden on [people's] health," it adds. 

Progress Party MP Mazyar Keshvari criticised the move, saying it will affect drivers who were urged to buy diesel vehicles by the government of former prime minister Jens Stoltenberg.

Speaking to TV2, quoted by The Guardian, he said: “Not only did they recommend motorists to buy diesel cars, they also changed the taxes to make them less expensive. That led a lot of people buying a car that they can’t use now.”