Peter Anderson | Nov 16, 2012

The Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, wants to stop older cars stinking up the streets of the French capital,

Socialist mayor Delanoë presented his ideas to council on Monday, proposing that private cars older than 17 years, and trucks or buses older than 18 years, should be banned.

He also wants motorbikes built before 2004 kicked out of town, because he considers them the noisiest and dirtiest.

Delanoë's no-go zone for these older cars and motorcycles would go as far as the A86 orbital motorway around Paris.

Paris resident Fabien Breuvart told Le Parisien that the proposals would turn the city into an "island for the rich."

The Mayor's Socialist Party says that owners of the older cars will be given financial assistance, such as a scrappage or "cash-for-clunkers" scheme.

These and other measures are intended to create a Low Emission Zone in Paris by 2015, and avoid a European Union fine of €100 million.

Independent reports suggest air pollution is responsible for 43,000 deaths every year in France, and that the average Parisian's lifespan is six months shorter than those outside the city.

Delanoë is no fan of the car, with these latest measures just one facet of his "war on the hegemony of the car." Already some roads along the banks of the Seine have been pedestrianised.

The mayor has also introduced trams, bike and bus lanes, the Velolib bike scheme as well as the new Autolib electric car sharing program.

Right wing opposition leader Phillipe Goujon has branded the reforms "anti-social, anti-suburban and anti-motorist," and an attempt by the Socialist Party to out-green the Greens.

Paris is home to one of the most dense public transport systems in the world, the Paris Metro, fed by a comprehensive suburban rail and bus network.

Delanoë plans to introuce the new rules in mid-2013 before bowing out of the city's top job in 2014.

[photo: Israel Mendoza, Flickr]