Madrid City Hall ups traffic-calming measures in bid to control pollution

“Level 2” protocol will see parking restrictions for non-residents inside the M-30 beltway

Speeds on Madrid‘s M-30 beltway have been limited to 70km/h.
Speeds on Madrid‘s M-30 beltway have been limited to 70km/h.Jaime Villanueva

High pollution levels in the Spanish capital will once again see Madrid City Hall impose traffic calming measures tomorrow, according to an announcement made by the council on Tuesday. The head of the environment department, Inés Sabanés, signed the activation of the “level 2” protocol today, which will be kept in place until air contamination falls.

On Monday, the council took the decision to introduce 70km/h speed limits on the M-30 beltway and access routes into the center of Madrid. Given expected high pollution levels, from Wednesday there will be no street parking for non-residents within the boundaries of the M-30.

The current restrictions were sparked after measuring stations on the Castellana boulevard, in Plaza de España, Cuatro Caminos and Ramón y Cajal detected more than 180 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide per meter cubed during two consecutive hours. The clear weather conditions currently forecast for the city will not help the situation.

Madrid is considering a ban on diesel cars from its center by 2025.

The measures to be put into place tomorrow will not affect motorbikes or scooters, nor motorists who have residents’ parking permits. Also exempt from the parking restrictions are people transporting people with limited mobility, taxis, local business owners in the affected areas, official vehicles, removal firms or emergency services. The fine for not observing the parking restrictions can reach up to €90, although if settled immediately the amount is half that.

Speed limits were put in place last week within the M-30 due to high pollution levels, while parking restrictions were last put in place toward the end of October. Madrid is one of a group of European cities that is considering banning diesel cars from its center by 2025.

English version by Simon Hunter.


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