Diesel to be phased out in French capitalParis mayor Anne Hidalgo has announced plans to ban diesel cars from the French capital by 2020.

The move follows a recent vow by French prime minister Manuel Valls to reduce France’s reliance on diesel cars, deeming the preference “a mistake”.

In plans revealed over the weekend, Hidalgo said: “I want diesel cars out of Paris by 2020 and if possible beyond the peripherique”.

The plans would eventually see bikes, buses and taxis prioritised in Paris’ four central districts – “the only (other) vehicles allowed will be residents’ cars, delivery vehicles and emergency vehicles” Hidalgo said in an interview with Journal du Dimanche.

The mayor of Paris also wants to limit traffic in pollution hotspots, by only allowing ultra-low emission vehicles within them. Speed limits may also be cut, so 18mph (30km/h) becomes “the norm in Paris”.

Traffic congestion and air pollution is a hot topic in Paris: last December, an air pollution spike forced authorities to lower speed limits and ban trucks from entering Paris. Free public transport was also introduced.

Around 80 per cent of the cars on French roads are diesel-powered, and latest stats reveal 65 per cent of new cars sold so far in 2014 were diesel.

From February 2015, France will start applying stickers to vehicles emitting the most pollution: diesel cars more than 13 years old will get a red sticker.