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The Sustainable Mobility Ordinance lays siege to vehicles in Madrid

Updated: Aug 30, 2021


The Sustainable Mobility Ordinance approved Friday August 20th by the Madrid City Council is part of an ambitious plan to progressively consolidate, until 2024, one of the largest low-emission zones (LEZ) in Europe, which will exceed 600 km2. If the ordinance is not approved, Madrid would find itself in a kind of limbo and would violate the Climate


Why is this new Sustainable Mobility Ordinance being presented?


To turn Madrid into the capital of sustainable mobility and protect the health of its citizens by improving air quality and road safety. Since 2010, Madrid does not comply with the directive 2008/50 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 21, 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe, for this reason it is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To avoid a heavy EU sanction for not achieving the anti-pollution targets and to meet the goal of cutting CO2 emissions by at least 23% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, it is necessary to establish concrete measures related to mobility and one of the ways is through this Sustainable Mobility Ordinance.

With the plan designed, Spain will aim to achieve a circular and carbon-neutral economy by 250 to minimize its environmental impact, that is, with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Among the objectives is also to reclaim city streets for citizens, to reduce car traffic and to create more pedestrianized areas. In addition, the Climate Change an Energy Transition Act approved by Parliament in May 2021, oblige all urban areas with a population of more than 50,000 to create Low Emission Zones (LEZs) as well as those with 20,000 if they have poor air quality.



When will the new Sustainable Mobility Ordinance go into effect?


The municipal corporation has called an extraordinary Governing Board for Friday, August 20th, where it expects to approve the new Sustainable Mobility Ordinance. The next step is to take it to the Plenary of Madrid city Council in September and if it approved by a majority of the by the elected councilors, it shall come effect a few days later.


What will happen to Madrid Central?

This new sustainable Mobility Ordinance will replace Madrid Central, as it was suspended after the Supreme Court overthrew the project.


For this reason, Madrid Central will disappear as we have known it until now and in the new ordinance, on which the City Council has been working, new low-emission zones (LEZs) have been included. In addition, the neighborhoods of Centro and Plaza Elíptica will enjoy a Special Protection with a specific operation that will come into force once the ordinance is approved, and the entire municipal term declared LEZs progressively and by territorial rings from 2022 to 2025.


Who will be able to access and circulate inside the perimeter of the Low Emission Zones and park in the SER zones?


Only registered residents of the area and vehicles with a Zero emission label can circulate freely and without time restriction in these zones. Also, cars of those invited by registered residents of the area according to the established quota and criteria.

Vehicles with an ECO emission label are allowed to enter the zone and park for a maximum of 2 hours.


The ordinance takes into account the environmental labeling for cars issued by the General Directorate of Traffic, which classifies vehicles depending on their environmental impact, to define what will be prohibited and allowed for each vehicle.



How does the Sustainable Mobility Ordinance affect vehicles that have the A environmental label, whether or not they are residents of Madrid?


Vehicles with A label or with no label are diesel registered before 2006 or gasoline registered before 2000

  • 2022 Non-residents: will not be able to circulate on the streets inside the M-30 (the ring road) but will be able to do so on the M-30. For example, a vehicle whose owner resides in Torrelodones will see its circulation restricted within the M-30.

  • 2023 both residents and non-residents will not be able to circulate on the on the streets inside the M-30 nor on the M-30 itself.

  • 2024 Non-residents: will not be able to circulate in all of Madrid center

  • 2025 residents: will not be able to circulate in all of Madrid center


Is there any kind of subsidy or incentives to replace the vehicles?


As of 2025, vehicles without an environmental label of citizens registered in the Area have prohibited access to the city of Madrid. An exception is made for historic vehicles (in accordance with national regulations) and for adapted vehicles without environmental label that transport people with reduced mobility.


To cope with this transition in which, the MOVES III Plan aids were established in April 2021, available until the end of 2023. Through direct aid, this plan finances the acquisition of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles to help individuals (this plan does not apply for company vehicles). It has a budget of 400 million euros, which can be doubled depending on mobility.


To cope with this transition in which, the MOVES III Plan aids were established in April 2021, available until the end of 2023. Through direct aid, this plan finances the acquisition of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles to help individuals (this plan does not apply for company vehicles). It has a budget of 400 million euros, which can be doubled depending on demand.



How does the Sustainable Mobility Ordinance affect vehicles that have the B environmental label and are NOT city residents?

These cars represent 29,7% of circulating traffic, its the distinctive for gasoline cars or vans registered after 2000 or diesel registered after 2006, high occupancy vehicles (8 passengers) and heavy vehicles registered after 2005.


These vehicles will be able to access Madrid city center but will only be able to park in a public car park or in a parking space owned by them.


The limitation of access to freight vehicles with environmental label B and weighing more than 3,500 kg will also be delayed until December 31, 2022, giving one more year of margin than initially planned for the renewal of the fleets.


How does the Sustainable Mobility Ordinance affect vehicles that have the C environmental label?


This is the distinctive for gasoline cars or vans registered after 2006 or diesel cars registered after 2014, high occupancy vehicles (8 passengers) and heavy vehicles registered after 2014. These cars represent 36% of circulating traffic and as cars with a B label, these vehicles will be able to access Madrid city center but they will only be allowed to park in a public car park or in a parking space owned by them.


Will there be more Regulated Parking Service (SER) areas?


The SER combines regulated parking with emissions criteria for the parking fees. This scheme favors less polluting vehicles. There is a base rate and depending on the emissions standard, there is a reduction or a surcharge applied. The parking meter determines the reductions or surcharges.


Since 2020, parking in the SER area within the “central almond” is only allowed for residents of the same neighborhood. The new ordinance plans to expand the SER areas to 20 new neighborhoods in the coming years. In these new areas parking restrictions will be applied to vehicles without a label, and a new dynamic rate for the SER area will be established based on the pollution of every day in order to control the increase of nitrogen dioxide levels.


On top of this, 5 free parking areas are planned in different spots of the outskirts of the city so users of vehicles with no label can leave their cars and access the city.


How does it affect motorcycles?

Motorcycles are also included in the

mobility limitations, those with ECO or Zero label will continue as before without any type of restriction. But the most polluting motorcycles will also be forced to remain outside Madrid Central, those with a B or C label may continue to enter Madrid Central from 7:00h to 23:00h.


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