With the beginning of the year come the new restrictions. Following what is designated by the Climate Change Law, the main Spanish cities are limiting the use of the combustion vehicle and creating the so-called Low Emission Zones (ZBE). Here we explain which ones there will be from 2022, which cars will be affected and which mobility restrictions will have to be taken into account.
At the moment Barcelona and Madrid are the only ones that have established large areas where older combustion cars cannot circulate at certain times. In the case of cities such as Seville, Valencia or Valladolid they also have their own LEZs, although these are only activated on days with the most pollution. Little by little it will be more and more common to find these restrictions, which we will explain below.
The Madrid ZBE enters into force
As of January 1, 2022, Madrid will activate its new Low Emission Zone (ZBE). The capital already has two special protection zones: Downtown District and Plaza Elíptica, which came into effect on September 22 and December 22, respectively. These areas will coexist with the new LEZ, which establishes certain restrictions focused mainly on those who come from abroad.
The affected vehicles are the cars with environmental classification A that are not domiciled in the city of Madrid. And the limitations, as specified by the Madrid City Council, are the following:
- From January 1, 2022, its access and circulation on urban public roads inside the M-30 is prohibited, excluding the M-30 itself.
- From January 1, 2023, its access and circulation on the M-30 is prohibited.
- From January 1, 2024, its access and circulation on all urban public roads in the municipality of Madrid is prohibited.
- From January 1, 2025, the 2024 ban is also extended to A passenger cars domiciled in Madrid.
The implementation of the new Madrid ZBE establishes a grace period of two months, in the notice phase. As of March 1, 2022, the first fines will begin to be sent to those who are captured by the automatic red-photo control system.
Barcelona will not activate the veto of cars with label B
The Barcelona Metropolitan Plan for Urban Mobility 2019-2024 included an extension of the restriction of the Low Emission Zone to cars with the B badge. But for the moment, this extension will not come into force in 2022, according to confirmed the Barcelona Metropolitan Area itself (AMB).
Cars with DGT label B are Euro 3 gasoline and Euro 4 and Euro 5 diesel. The initial idea is that from 2022 these cars would be restricted in the cases of non-residents, but finally the LEZ would not it will be modified to cover cars labeled B, at least for the time being. With this decision, only the ZBE zone in the central district of Madrid (what used to be Madrid Central) It is the one that prohibits the circulation of cars with the B badge.
The ZBE Rondas de Barcelona includes the city of Barcelona itself, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Sant Adrià de Besòs, and part of Esplugues de Llobregat and Cornellà de Llobregat), where cars with label A cannot circulate on weekdays, from 7: 00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. As of 2022, this area will be joined by Badalona and Santa Coloma de Gramanet.
Starting in 2022, the restrictions on buses and coaches intended for public transport without a label (prior to the Euro 4 standard and normally registered before 2006 or 2007), but finally this limitation will not apply either, at least until June 30, 2022, which is when the moratorium is set.
Bilbao, Valencia or Seville are already prepared
The responsibility for creating these LEZs belongs to the different municipalities. Cities such as Seville, Valencia, Bilbao, Logroño or Valladolid already have a proposed plan to limit the circulation of old cars without an environmental label from the DGT. However, they are either temporary or are only activated in high pollution episodes. That will change, although not at the beginning of the year.
In the case of Valencia, a pilot project is planned in the historic center Y already has a budget line that will come out of the 60 million euros that the city will receive from European Next Generation funds.
Bilbao has already defined its preserve to old gasoline and diesel cars, but it won’t be until 2023 when its Low Emissions Zone becomes operational. At the moment it will be reserved for the downtown area, but the intention is that both the Old Town and the Zorrotzaurre area become exclusive areas for electrified traffic.
The area of Seville is baptized as LEZ Sevilla and is associated with pollution peaks. In this area, vehicles without a label are discriminated against. In Valladolid raises an LEZ that matches the “central kernel”.
Starting in 2023, all cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants will have to have an LEZ
With the approval of the Climate Change Law, from 2023 all Spanish cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants must have a Low Emission Zone. Here are included large capitals such as Santander, Granada, Logroño or Zaragoza, but also municipalities such as Linares, Huesca, Zamora, Cerdanyola del Vallès or Boadilla del Monte that narrowly exceed the marked limit.
Only Barcelona and Madrid meet the requirements required by law at the beginning of 2022. The rest have just 15 months to implement these restrictions. “These areas will improve the air quality of more than 30 million people. And they will also reduce congestion and accidents in urban traffic”, Explain Susana Gómez, Deputy Director of Vehicles of the DGT.
Although, according to a report by the Association of Manufacturers and Distributors Companies (AECOC), 77% of cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants already have some mobility restriction in their urban centers. Initial measures that should end up becoming an LEZ over the next few months.
Given the arrival of these LEZs, the DGT has proposed a unified fine of 200 euros for bypassing the limitations. A single criterion that would help to harmonize the arrival of these new Low Emission Zones.
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