OCU makes suggestions for improving low-emission zones (LEZs)in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson


MADRID – All cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants will have to introduce a low-emission zone (LEZ) this year. Large cities such as Barcelona or Madrid already have them to combat air pollution. About 25 million people will be affected by the measure. 

The Spanish Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU) has now published 7 suggestions for low-emission zones. The consumer organisation does this in response to the high degree of doubts that have arisen among road users about this. The suggestions are mainly aimed at facilitating implementation. 

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The first is to implement wide, clear and highly visible signage at the entrances to the LEZs. Most of the fines imposed for entering already active territories are simply due to ignorance. 

The second is the construction of park-and-ride parking garages on the borders of the LEZs. They should be free and well connected to the centre and public transport. 

The third is to promote sustainable mobility, both through public transport and by improving the network of cycle paths, car-free streets, etc. 

Three times a year access to cars without a label 

The fourth is one of the most notable of the proposal, as it calls for cars without a DGT label to have access to the LEZ three times a year. That could be in emergency situations. 

The fifth is that a change should be made to the environmental labelling system. Vehicles should not be classified according to engine technology, but according to actual emissions (a current micro-hybrid is less polluting than, for example, a powerful PHEV). 

The sixth proposal aims to extend the support of the Moves plan to include second-hand cars with an ECO or ZERO label. 

And the seventh and last refers to the need to have centralised information about the main features of the 149 LEZs, such as the entrances, where they start and end, their size, etc. 

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