GP: Car-free zone in the inner city of Pécs - Hungary PDF Print E-mail

 To make the inner city more attractive and to decrease the burden of vehicle emissions Pécs has introduced a car-free zone in the inner city.

HUPecs_carfreePécs has a medieval city centre surrounded by a city wall. The decorated tombs from the late Roman era were designated as a cultural world heritage zone by UNESCO in 2000.

To decrease the burden of parking and vehicle emissions and make the inner city more attractive both for residents and for tourists the City of Pécs has restricted accessibility to its centre in various ways:

*A car-free zone has been established in the inner city centre.
*A speed limit of 30 km/h has been introduced within the World Heritage zone.
*Access of heavy freighters (6 tonnes) to the world heritage zone has been limited.
*Several streets have been closed and access to others limited.

In the car-free zone, private cars are banned and delivery vehicles must have permission to enter. Only residents and cars for the disabled are allowed. The police controls access and a heavy penalty makes compliance almost total. Each family living in the area receives one free permit and pays a reduced fee if they have a second car. Close relatives of elderly people can also apply for a reduced fee. Anybody can buy an annual permit, but there is a small demand since it is very expensive.

The result is substantially reduced traffic and thus also noise-levels and emissions in certain areas. Some parts of the inner city now have no traffic at all and in other parts there has been an 80% reduction. There are 95% less traffic of heavy freighters in the inner city centre. Another result is that the average size of outdoor terraces in the area has increased with 20%. All in all, the transformation has made the city better to live and work in as well as to visit.

Saving the World Heritage from emissions was a strong argument that made it easier to reach public acceptance for restrictions. The plan is to extend the car-free zone to the whole city centre inside the medieval city wall by 2010. An increase of green areas will complete the transformation of a more attractive city centre.

More information

György Kelemen, Municipality of the City of Pécs - City Development Department, 36 72 533 878, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Peter Merza, Municipality of the City of Pécs - European Development Office, 36 72 515 937, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


The above project is part of the 'CIVITAS - Trendsetter' initiative

TRENDSETTER's objectives are to ameliorate urban air quality and noise levels, and congestion while supporting exceptional mobility and urban quality of life. It will help other cities to see how they can curb unsustainable traffic growth by using advanced mobility management schemes.

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