A truck passes a traffic sign showing a ban on diesel cars at the Max-Brauer Allee in downtown Hamburg, Germany May 23, 2018. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer
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Hamburg Thursday will become the first German city to ban older diesel vehicles from some highly polluted stretches of road, as public confidence in the once-loved technology goes up in smoke.A 1,600-meter stretch of highway and a 580-meter section of another major road will be closed to older diesels.Judges at the Federal Administrative Court found in February that cities could "gradually" eliminate diesel vehicles, starting with the oldest, while allowing exceptions including for emergency services, local residents and businesses.Nevertheless, Germany's federal government under Chancellor Angela Merkel has often appeared to take the car industry's side.It has pushed back against diesel bans and rejects the idea of a "blue badge" drivers could stick on their windscreens that would identify the least polluting vehicles.
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