Elche Council plans to install 3 low emission zones (LEZs) in congested areas covering 536 hectares of the city by 2023. With this, the city complies to national legislation (Climate Change and Energy Transition Law before 2023) requiring all municipalities of more than 50,000 inhabitants to implement such urban vehicle access regulative options.
The LEZs will be in the city centre itself, as well as in areas adjacent to the centre around the University and in the Altabix neighbourhood north of the centre. Buses and pedestrians will have priority in these LEZs, and there will be new bus routes along with the modification of existing public transport services. The zones will be monitored by 'control cameras' and pollution metres will also be installed.
According to the city, the details of restrictions are still to be finalised, but they will vary according to distance from the centre, with the most affected area being the centre itself. Esther Díez, Councillor for Mobility, stated: “This does not mean that cars will not be able to enter the area at all, it’s likely there will be streets where only residents, shopkeepers, emergency vehicles or parking users will be allowed to circulate.”
The initiative is one of 11 projects aimed at reducing pollution with which Elche council plans to secure 10.6 million EUR of European funding. Overall, Elche aims to improve air quality and is driving this process with not only LEZs but a mix of measures that will support a transformation of its public transport and the digitalisation of mobility in the city.
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Article published first at Murcia Today on 30 September 2021.