DUESSELDORF -- A German administrative court has ruled that the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia must ban older diesel vehicles from the cities of Gelsenkirchen and Essen, including part of the A40 autobahn. The cities are located in the Ruhr region, one of Germany's most densely populated areas.
The ban, which will come into effect next year, follows a lawsuit brought by the DUH environmental lobby group.
It has called for a ban of diesel vehicles in various German cities, invoking legal thresholds of pollution in the air.
Other German cities that also face selected bans or are awaiting the results of appeals to proposed bans, include Frankfurt, Aachen, Berlin, Stuttgart, Cologne, Bonn, Duesseldorf and Mainz.
The decisions were made after a landmark ruling by Germany's top administrative court in February that opened the door to inner-city bans.
DUH's lawyer Remo Klinger praised the ruling, saying that "clean air is a human right that the state must guarantee."