Representatives of the majority and the Progressive Party in the environment and planning board of the City of Reykjavík would like to look into the possibility of assessing a fee for the use of studded car tires, RÚV reports. Such tires cost the city large amounts in road maintenance every year, in addition to causing airborne particle pollution.
According to a Gallup poll, conducted December 15-29 of last year, and another one by EFLA engineering consultants, the use of studded tires has increased substantially this winter, despite unseasonably mild weather and little snow.
“This is an unfortunate trend,” the representatives commented, because the studded tires cause serious pollution levels near major highways. “In addition, there is the direct cost caused be the wear and tear of roads, estimated at ISK 150-300 million (USD 1.3-2.6 million, EUR 1.2-2.4 million) a year. That cost is paid by all city residents, also those who don’t use studded tires.”
The representatives point out that new rental cars make up a large part of the increase in traffic, so it’s logical to assume that they play a part in the increased use of studded tires. “That cost is not carried by tourists or car rentals, but by city residents.”
It is suggested that the environment and planning board be asked to suggest ways to reverse this trend with increased education and “a potential fee assessed for the use of studded tires.”
Studded tires are known to cause airborne particle pollution in Reykjavík.