Bicycles are already a primary means of getting around Amsterdam, but it’s about to become pretty difficult to travel in Amsterdam without one pretty soon. In an effort to reduce air pollution, the city council will ban gas-powered cars and motorbikes from driving in Amsterdam starting in 2030. Air pollution is believed to be shortening the life expectancy of Amsterdam citizens by a year, prompting authorities to institute new preventative measures.
The changes are starting sooner than 2030, however. Next year, diesel cars older than 15 years will be banned from driving the A10 ring road around Amsterdam. Public buses and coaches emitting exhaust fumes will also be banned from entering the city center starting in 2022. In 2025, that ban will extend to pleasure crafts on the river and mopeds.
Sharon Dijksma, an Amsterdam city councillor, said, “Pollution is often a silent killer and is one of the greatest health hazards in Amsterdam,” as reported by The Guardian.
To encourage citizens to use more electric and hydrogen cars, the city will install thousands of charging stations around Amsterdam. The goal is to reach 16,000 to 23,000 charging stations by 2025 (there are currently only 3,000).
Amsterdam is following the lead of other cities that have taken steps to reduce their emissions. Last year, Madrid imposed restrictions on cars made before 2000, and Rome has pledged to ban diesel vehicles from the city center entirely by 2024.