Tuesday, March 21

Parking on days of high pollution is already more expensive in Madrid: the ZBE and other key measures in 2022

The Government hopes that 2022 will be the year in which a good number of Spanish cities substantially change their relationship with combustion vehicles. At least the 149 cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants that they will have to implement low emission zones (ZBE) before the end of the year. But the final decision remains in the hands of the municipalities.

Although the order comes from the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, in practice the municipal councils have been given full freedom to apply the regulations that they consider best for their neighbors, as long as they manage to reduce the volume of current polluting emissions, as and as outlined in Climate Change and Energy Transition Law.

The year of the change remains in the hands of the municipalities

To improve the environmental conditions of cities, the ministry published a first draft called “Guidelines for the creation of low emission zones (ZBE)”. It was pointed out that the city councils will be the ones that have to decide on their own areas and structures, but it did not detail who will be affected by the restrictions nor what will these be.

Until now, the two large Spanish cities have been in charge of taking the first steps in the implementation of ZBE in their streets. Madrid Central gave way to Madrid 360 and vehicles without a label cannot circulate through its space and there are some complications for those who have a B or C label on their windshields. Barcelona, ​​for its part, does not allow the circulation of cars without a label between 7:00 and 20:00 on working days.

But although Madrid and Barcelona are the cities that monopolize the most outbreaks, the DGT ensures that 77% of the cities that have to apply a ZBE already have restrictions on mobility in the center of their cities. Of course, they also ensure that just seven cities of the 149 cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants use this scheme. In addition, it should not be forgotten that town halls with more than 20,000 inhabitants whose environmental values ​​are deficient will also have to implement spaces restricted to circulation.

Beyond the ZBE

Undoubtedly, restrictions on movement are the most striking. In Madrid, in addition to prohibiting the passage of vehicles without a label in the central almond, since 2022 these vehicles cannot circulate inside the M-30, unless they were registered in the Tax on Mechanical Traction Vehicles of the Madrid City Council before January 1, 2022. The project plans to gradually expel the most polluting vehicles from the city and in 2025 they will no longer be able to circulate by any means of the municipality, whether or not they are residents.

These are not the only measures that the Madrid City Council is contemplating. from this week park in the SER zones (regulated parking) it will be more expensive on days of high pollution. The price will rise by 60 or 100% when it exceeds 60 micrograms per cubic meter (tranche I) or 70 micrograms per cubic meter (tranche II), respectively. In other words, parking in the green or blue zones of Madrid could cost twice as much on days when there are more polluting substances in the atmosphere.

But without affecting the citizens’ pockets, other environmental policies are also being applied in our country. In Madrid, on Sundays the Paseo del Prado is closed to pedestrianize it and in five other Madrid districts the same is done on public holidays. Some even extend the cuts throughout the weekend. Murcia carries out the same measure in its Gran Vía and Real city works on a project to expand its number of pedestrianized streets.

Other cities, like Rivas-Vaciamadrid they are also focusing their efforts on the little ones. This city located a few kilometers from the capital closes all access roads to schools at the entrance and exit of the little ones. The measure comes after the movement #SchoolRevolt that with demonstrations of parents and children have been claiming safer and smoke-free paths for the little ones for some time. Too They have gotten that in Barcelona measures have been taken to calm traffic next to schools and in Valencia benches and games have been installed for the little ones in the surrounding streets.

Without forgetting that public transport and the energies that move it are focusing a large part of the efforts of cities. Once again, Madrid and Barcelona are the ones that have made the most renovations in the fleet (they also have more resources) but Bilbao is working to electrify its entire taxi fleet and Badajoz is one of the cleanest examples of public transport in Spain.

Photo | Julio GM