Initiative for car-free Berlin city centre declared unworkable by Senate

Initiative for car-free Berlin city centre declared unworkable by Senate

A popular initiative to drastically reduce motor vehicle traffic in the city centre of Berlin has been declared unworkable by the Senate. The initiative’s backers have vowed to pursue legal action. 

Plans to reduce car journeys deemed “disproportionate” by Berlin Senate

The Berlin Senate said this week that the Berlin autofrei” referendum would be inadmissible. According to a spokesperson for the Senate Department for the Interior, the draft law in its current form would violate Germany’s Basic Law. “The intended regulations, to ban private car traffic in the entire inner city area by law and only allow it in exceptional cases, are disproportionate and incompatible with the general freedom of action,” the department is quoted as saying by rbb

The Senate’s position was dismissed by the spokesperson for the initiative, Nina Noblé, who said they were not afraid to go to court. “Many experienced lawyers have drawn up, checked and improved our law,” she said. “It is not only proportionate, but urgently necessary that we significantly reduce car traffic in Berlin. The Interior Senate seems to lack the political will and courage to seriously solve these problems. But should the Senate send us before the state constitutional court, we will not shy away.”

Berlin autofrei to drastically reduce traffic in city centre

The Berlin autofrei initiative seeks to severely restrict people driving private vehicles inside the S-Bahn ring in Berlin, allowing residents of the German city to make just 12 car journeys per year into the centre. The ban would not affect public transport, taxis, commercial and delivery traffic, people with restricted mobility, or the emergency services

Last year, the initiative collected more than 50.000 signatures to request the initiation of a referendum, well clear of the 20.000 required. The matter will now likely go to the constitutional court for a final decision. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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