Big changes await the people of Madrid. On November, 23 a policy called ‘Madrid Central’ will come into force that effectively bans all conventional cars from driving through the city centre. In addition, other measures designed to clear the air over the Spanish capital as well as to make space inside the city centre have been announced.
Madrid Central is a driving ban as far reaching as only some Scandinavian cities have considered so far and goes back to leftwing Mayor of Madrid Manuela Carmena, a 74-year old women and former judge.
She declared that from this November on, only electric vehicles and hybrids with a range of 40 km will be allowed to drive through the city centre freely. The area defined as centre measures 472 hectares and is enclosed by the M30.
An exception will be made for people who live in central Madrid. These locals are also the only ones allowed to park on the streets, anyone else must use a parking garage and have a permit in form of a sticker to cross into town in the first place. Cameras have been installed at parking garages as well as all entries to the city centre. Those trying to cross into town without a permit will be charged 90 euros, although the council will start enforcing payment only gradually. Only petrol-powered cars registered before 2000, will not be able to get in at all and the same goes for diesel vehicles bought after 2006. Even motorcycles will require a sticker and may only park between 7AM to 10 PM. Moreover, all taxis must be (partially) electric by 2025. By that time, diesel may likely be banned from the entire city as well.
But those bans and penalties are not all. With the streets likely to become less car heavy, the Spanish capital also plans to broaden walk ways lining the avenues such as the Gran Via. In smaller one way roads and single lane streets, the city will introduce a 30 km speed limit – in Madrid this affects about 85 percent of all streets and will make the use of any car less attractive. Yet, carmakers have rushed to introduce electric car sharing services which are likely to experience a spike in registrations comes November. The same can be expected for scooter sharing companies such as Coup that have taken to town.
The Madrid Central plan is ambitious and thorough and only matched by similar initiatives in Scandinavia or Amsterdam.
derstandard.at (in German)