In May this year, the Spanish Supreme Court ratified Madrid Supreme Court’s ruling which annulled the low emissions zone approved by the Madrid government of Manuela Carmena.
It was the objective of the then PP spokesman in the City Council, Martínez-Almeida, to eradicate Madrid Central. Along with the disappearance of Madrid Central, would be the APRs (Acoustic Protection Areas), which existed within the Central zone.
Culture of mobility changed
However, the culture of mobility in the capital has changed substantially since Almeida filed that appeal. Madrid Central has proven its effectiveness, reducing traffic in the centre by 25% and by 10% in the city as a whole.
Aware of this, and surely aware of the fine Brussels is threatening for those who exceed air pollution levels, the current municipal government hastened to announce that it would present a new ordinance incorporating traffic restrictions in the centre established by Madrid Central.
The final content is not known. However, it is known the low emissions area will be maintained, with the only difference that now access is allowed to merchants in the Central district under the same conditions as they already have.
This situation does not alter the two main objectives pursued by Madrid Central. The first is to prevent cars from crossing the city through the centre. Secondly, to limit, based on environmental criteria, vehicle access to the centre for those who live or work there.
Madrid Central only part way to addressing Madrid’s environmental issues
A period of political negotiation is opened. The new version of Madrid Central must be approved by a majority in the Plenary of the city. However, on its own, it is not enough to address Madrid’s environmental challenges.