Discouraging the use of private vehicles in cities is one of the main objectives included in the Spanish Emergency Plan for Sustainable, Safe and Connected Mobility in Urban and Metropolitan Areas (“Plan de choque de movilidad sostenible, segura y conectada en entornos urbanos y metropolitanos”). The plan has just begun its parliamentary processing and is included in the General State Budget for 2022. The government is pushing to have it approved in parliament in the coming weeks.
More specifically, the plan includes:
- Low Emission Zones (LEZ) - These are urban areas that are entirely pedestrianised or partially restricted to the traffic of more polluting vehicles and will become compulsory in cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants by 2023. According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), the measure will affect 149 cities which also means 53.1% of the Spanish population. This number could be even higher given that the Plan also states that municipalities with more than 20,000 inhabitants suffering from air quality problems will also be obliged to comply. This measure comprehends funds for 1.124 million EUR.
- Electromobility - This involves direct purchase subsidies to incentivize the acquisition of electric and fuel cell vehicles. It will also promote initiatives such as car sharing, carpooling, together with other forms of mobility such as electric scooters and e-bicycles. The budget assigned to the measure is 445 million EUR
- Public transport - The government also wants to promote local train services by improving reliability, punctuality and the use of real-time information. The plan sees the train service as the most sustainable transport option from an environmental, economic and social point of view and assigns to this measure investment of 615 million EUR.
In this context, the General Directorate of Traffic, together with the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces and in collaboration with Zaragoza City Council, organised the 6th Meeting of Cities for the improvement of urban mobility. This was held on 21 -22 October in Zaragoza under the slogan “ciudades 2030”. The aim of the meeting was to disseminate, promote and encourage good practices in urban mobility through the exchange of knowledge and experiences between the different sectors involved in mobility.
Original article published by car and driver on 14 October 2021.
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